Paul’s next instructions in his letter to the church at Rome reads thus: “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically!” (or “let the Spirit excite you as you serve the Lord.”) Romans 12:11 NLT. It is impossible to read the story of Paul or his writings without seeing the man’s enthusiasm, his dedication, even his competitiveness. He uses superlatives unabashedly when describing himself– the highest achieving Pharisee, the chief of sinners, the hardest working apostle. Once God had changed the course of his life on the road to Damascus, Paul was unstoppable in his quest to spread the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.
And truly, the Gospel calls for our enthusiastic service to God. We owe Him our lives, a debt of gratitude we can never repay. We love Him, and want to become like Him in every way. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus demands our complete dedication in order to participate. In all of these motives, we find ourselves instinctively dedicating our lives to God and His service; His can never be a grudging service.
I was surprised and delighted this morning to read the alternate translation “Let the Spirit excite you as you serve the Lord.” Some of us, it is true, do not have the naturally overpowering personality of Paul. And God knows that; He is only looking for your complete surrender, your 100% willingness to serve Him wherever He leads. Once He has control of your life, He will even provide the excitement by His Spirit!