She is 33, an entrepreneur, and a mother—and is saved. She learnt nothing about God at home, instead getting to know the dangers of the big city in her first 25 years of life. Today, she loves her Savior and leads a completely different life than before. There are a lot of young brothers and sisters living, studying, and working in local congregations. Along with many others, all of them are daily proof that anyone can serve God in 2021.
The Dangers of Our Time
Knowing about a threat often protects us from falling prey to it. Our world today is brimming with snares and hidden temptations. A big problem is that we are already exposed to the poison of humanism and trained in political correctness as young children through the school system. This strongly influences our thinking, value system, and judgments. Strong, responsible, sober, and upright personalities are not wanted today. People get direction from the spirit of the times and not the Bible. We are trained to blend into the crowd, not to make waves, and to march in step and in tune with the masses. Not many people are willing to take a stand against the subtle political pressure exerted with the support of advertisers and the media.
It seems that we are experiencing the paradoxical development of a militant and discriminatory tolerance throughout the world. If people do not submit to the general tolerant and godless world view, they are intractably marginalized and are written off as wrong. This development is driven by a spirit from hell that wants to eradicate all fear of God in our societies and leave people adrift and disoriented. This spirit plays a big role in our everyday lives by trying to blur or entirely remove boundaries. Modern media are an important tool in this regard, as this spirit disguises the dangers of media consumption by highlighting the necessity of technological development in everyday life.
Our modern time also faces another dangerous virus: fear! People feel overwhelmed, helpless, clueless, uncertain, adrift. They capitulate to real or imagined constraints and demands and live in constant, growing fear. Never before has a generation in our western countries lived in such freedom, wealth, and peace. Despite this, fear is blinding people, leading to panicked and irrational actions.
The Blessing of Serving God
No, we do not need to be at the mercy of modern currents of thought, passively given over to fate. No, that is why Christ came! He still frees us from fear today and saves us from destructive forces, whether internal or external. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). In the gospels, the life of Jesus shows us what freedom truly means, even for our times.
Paul reminds the congregation in Corinth of their previous lives and the powerful transformation that took place when they entered the service of Jesus, writing, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). By making the same experience, people today can also live in Christ and enjoy the highest level of human fulfilment. The soul lives in harmony with its Creator. Every day, it feeds from God’s power, receiving guidance, instruction, and protection from the Spirit of God. God is the source of love—and our Father. That makes our life at any age exceedingly rich, fulfilled, and a blessing to others. Being fully dependent on God frees us from dependence on people. In dark, painful nights, faith sees the bright star of God’s will and of hope in our eternal home shine through.
How can we serve God in 2021?
First, we should let go of a commonly held misconception: Nobody can serve both God and the world simultaneously. This has been true for as long as the Earth has been home to humans (see Luke 16:13, Romans 6:16–22, James 4:4, and 1 John 2:15–16).
The condition of and reward for serving God today is a very clear and determined decision for God and against the world. This means not conforming to the world but rather deciding to lead a life according to God’s will. Jesus was very clear on this point, saying, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27). The oft-used “both … and” is not an option here. You can only pick one. If we see the boundaries of holiness as confining, our heart is drawn towards the world and not towards the fount of life. Remember that God does not bind you. If you love the world, He lets you go. A “successful” and blessed life in the service of God is only possible if our hearts belong wholly to God.
Yes, this means serving. Modern people do not want to be slaves; they want to be served by others. But in the Kingdom of God, there is only one Lord: our God. He expects our love and complete surrender to His will. Therein lies the key to the rivers of grace and power; our consecration is the secret to a brightly shining, rich life as a child of the King—a life of freedom, carried by love and faith.
But what do we, as children of God, do with the noise of these times, the stress of daily life, “social” media, and the links to many areas of society? Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Our Father knows about our lives as part of this world, this society. God knows that the Internet has become part of our normal lives, but His strength is sufficient to protect us and our children online.
Did you know that we do not have to jump on every bandwagon and follow every trend? We do not need to comment on every post. If successful business people plan and organize their time carefully, how much more care should we give to our time in our spiritual lives? We need to see where our time is being stolen. Using the opportunities responsibly lets us be productive while serving as a blessing.
We can do our part for protection (1 John 5:18) by consciously and regularly seeking peace in the presence of God and maintaining our relationship with Him. Your soul needs this time of retreat and daily direction. A lot of technological equipment is recalibrated every time it is turned on. Similarly, we need precise instruction in the will of God every day. During these quiet moments, we can plan our days together with our Lord. He will remind us of the important things that need to be done. “Aspire to lead a quiet life!” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) Sometimes we will need to be victorious over ourselves, but every victory brings strength for new victories.
And another helpful hint: Important questions cannot be answered by Google but only by the Word and the Spirit of God. That is why it is of such crucial importance to read and study the Bible. In reverent discussion with the Spirit of God, our Teacher and Mentor, He takes our hands and inducts us into the secrets of godly wisdom and insight, educating us in humility and enriching us in grace.
Serving God in 2021—is this your blessed reality too? Healthy and strong, sober, and filled with love towards our Savior—this is a life led in accordance with the will of God, even today. We do not need to settle for less because God is the source of the power and the blessing.