The spiritual disciplines are not to be seen as a pretext for separation and isolation from the world. Rather they should be regarded as a means to conquest over the world. Not the renunciation of the world but service in the world—this is the purpose of the disciplines of the spirit as seen in the Bible.
Donald G. Bloesch
The Crisis of Piety
In some ways we would prefer to hear Jesus’ call to deny father and mother, houses and land for the sake of the gospel, than His word to wash feet
Everything in that verse relates to obedience to God. In the midst of this cluster of commands on obedience is the mandate, “serve him.” We should serve the Lord because we want to obey Him.
Self-righteous service requires external rewards. It needs to know that people see and appreciate the effort. It seeks human applause—with proper religious modesty of course.… Self-righteous service is highly concerned about results. It eagerly wants to see if the person served will reciprocate in kind.… The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered.
Service in Real Life
Worship empowers serving; serving expresses worship. Godliness requires a disciplined balance between the two.
A. W. Tozer put it, “Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works.