Any kind of service must be a service rendered through us by the God abiding in us to the God sitting on the throne. This is the service which God wants and accepts. We cannot serve Him without Him having any ground in us. We cannot merely serve Him on earth and He merely receives it in heaven—He and we, we and He, standing apart from each other instead of being joined with one another. We cannot merely think of Him one minute and then immediately serve Him zealously without contacting Him or being mingled with Him. This kind of service is from ourselves and by ourselves, not from God or by God. Therefore, it has no element of God in it.
After he [Paul] was saved, God lived in him and he was joined to God. He and God were no longer two, but the two became one. God’s life became his life, God’s nature became his nature, God’s feeling became his feeling, and God’s view became his view. God’s everything became his everything, his content. When he gave God the ground in him in this way, and when he and God fellowshipped together, God operated in him, giving him a sense that motivated him to serve God by preaching the gospel. His service was from God and by God. It issued from his passing through God and allowing God to pass through him. This kind of service was not just a work or an enterprise but the flowing out of God and the overflow of God’s life.
In the matter of service we cannot do it out of our enthusiasm, determination, or capability, nor can we serve merely according to what we were taught. None of these things should be the source of our service. The source of our service should be God, it should be the spirit, it should be God’s operation in us, and it should be the operation, direction, and leading of the Spirit of God in our spirit. Only the service which comes out of these things is the service which is from God and by God. (The Spirit and Service in Spirit, ch. 8, by Witness Lee)