8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. People all over the world are talking about your faith. 9 I serve God with my whole heart. I preach the good news about his Son. God knows that I always remember you 10 in my prayers. I pray that now at last it may be God’s plan to open the way for me to visit you. 11 I long to see you. I want to make you strong by giving you a gift from the Holy Spirit. 12 I want us to encourage one another in the faith we share. 13 Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that I planned many times to visit you. But until now I have been kept from coming. My work has produced results among the other Gentiles. In the same way, I want to see results among you. 14 I have a duty both to Greeks and to non-Greeks. I have a duty both to wise people and to foolish people. 15 So I really want to preach the good news also to you who live in Rome.
Interestingly, in vs9 Paul says he serves God ‘with his spirit’. It is one thing for me to serve God practically by ‘doing’ something physically… it is quite another to submit my spirit.
The spirit can refer to the breath, the vital or essential part of a man or the soul. In other words, Paul serves God with his whole self, with the very core of what makes Paul, Paul. Paul withholds no part of himself from God.
Am I serving God with my whole self or am I roping off parts of me and saying God can’t have this? Do I trust God with the parts of me that make me, me? Do I trust that He won’t exploit me or destroy me? Do I trust that the one who made me and calls me His daughter, knows how to partner with me?
God, help me to serve you with all that I am, holding nothing back. Amen.
Written by Bethany Waugh