Serving God YOUR Way
Yael Eckstein | August 11, 2020
You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go…” — Deuteronomy 12:4-5
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Re’eh, which means “see,” from Deuteronomy 11:26–16:17.
Every day before I start to work I say the same prayer. I ask God to use me as a vessel through which He can bring blessings to the world.
We are all blessed with unique abilities, and we all have aspirations for what we’d like to accomplish in life. However, if our talents and achievements are merely self-serving, we will have missed the purpose of our lives. No matter where our talents lay, our job is to dedicate them to God’s purposes — to be a vehicle of His blessings — and live lives rich in service and contribution.
In fact, according to Jewish tradition, the best way to serve God is to discover our innate passions and personal abilities and use them in service to God. Each of us has the ability to serve God in our own way, unlike anyone else.
In Proverbs 3:9 we read, “Honor the LORD with (honecha) your wealth.” However, the Jewish sages taught, “Don’t read the word as honecha, meaning ‘your wealth,’ but as chonecha, meaning ‘with what God has graced you with.’” In other words, each of us has been graced with a set of talents. We must figure out what they are and serve God with them.
In this week’s Torah portion we read, “You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose… To that place you must go.” On the surface, God was instructing Israel that they must not worship as other nations do, but must serve God alone, in the particular place that He will choose.
However, another way to understand the verse is that we are not meant to serve God the same way that other people do. Our way of serving God should never mimic someone else’s because we have our own unique set of gifts with which God has graced us. Our job is to uncover our talents — to find the unique place that He has for us in His service — and then serve Him from there.
What gifts have you been graced with? In what unique way can you serve God?