9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son … (Romans 1).
True spiritual service to God demands spiritual effort. That is, to serve God at all is to serve Him — not in my flesh — but in my spirit. I can break my back trying my best to do good works for Him, but if this service does not come from a broken spirit yielded to Him and dependent upon His grace, then in the end all I am doing is clanging some cymbals together (1 Corinthians 13).
True spiritual service will always cost me everything — my will, my emotions, my thinking — in short, my whole life and being. To follow Jesus is not so much living for Him, but dying for Him. This is what taking up His cross and following Him is all about, because when Jesus carried His Cross, He was serving God in His Spirit — totally yielded to the Father’s will — no matter what the cost.
Lord, help us This Day to serve You truly — to serve You in our spirits. Help us to yield absolutely everything in our lives to You. May each of us say along with our Savior, “Not my will, but Yours.” And, as we do so, may our lives truly preach the gospel, even as Paul did. Amen.