To Serve Him with My Whole Life

 To Serve Him with My Whole Life

Through much of my life I have wanted to serve the Lord. Although I was raised in a Christian family and learned to love the Lord as a child, there was still the question of how to live a Christian life and serve Him with my whole life.

When I was in college my mother got terminal cancer and was given six months to live. With only a few months of this time left, and with her health rapidly declining, she had a stroke and we were told she would never walk or talk again. I was devastated and went down to the little hospital chapel and told the Lord, “If you heal my mother, I’ll give you the rest of my life.” Of course I am worth little, but in my innocent prayer to the Lord, I was indicating the faith in the Lord that was instilled in me as I grew up. My mother did walk and talk again, and even lived a number of years longer. As the time went on, I realized how faithful the Lord is, even to our innocent (and often selfish) faith in Him. I also began to realize more and more how much I owed Him my life as I had promised.

I began to search for a way to serve Him. I knew there had to be a way other than becoming a minister, but sitting in a service once a week, being in a choir, even reading the Bible every day didn’t seem to fill that desire and promise that was within me. I knew there had to be another way.

Through a friend at work I began to meet with the local church in Austin and I was touched that the people meeting there seemed to live a life that matched what they believed. It wasn’t just during “spiritual’ times that this happened, but even in their daily, mundane items of life, they lived according to the Lord. This opened me up and I quickly had the realization that this was the place where I could fulfill the promise I had made to the Lord in that little hospital chapel.

One of the first things I did was to read the Recovery version of the Bible. The footnotes by Witness Lee opened passages of the Bible I had never understood before. For the first time in my life the Bible was not some mysterious book that I hardly understood, but became a book full of life and light. Now the mysterious God who I had mostly feared became the wonderfully rich God whom I loved.

The Recovery version gave me such a taste for the Lord that I spent the next three and one-half years reading all the New Testament Life-studies and the available Old Testament Life-studies by Witness Lee. My love for the Lord, His plan, and His church all grew tremendously. For the first time I felt that I could not only serve Him, but serve Him with an understanding of His heart’s desire to gain a group of people to represent Him, express Him, and ultimately to bring Him back. Oh, how I love Him and His church!

The final piece of the “puzzle” in my serving Him was to read the book The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. The book clearly presents that the normal life of every Christian is a service to Him. This should be our normal condition, not something unusual or for exceptional people.

I feel so grateful to the Lord for His great love for us. I also thank Him for opening up the Bible and His heart’s desire for the church. In the local church it is a normal aspiration to want to serve Him with our whole lives.


Robert Hengst

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