When someone joins the staff of the President of the United States, they must realize that they are not there for their own agenda. Indeed, they learn to say – “I serve at the pleasure of the President.” That does not mean their purpose is to fill his day with fun and games. They have to know that he is the executive, that their reason for being in that place is to carry out his agenda and his policies. Very bright, well educated people, agree to ‘serve at the pleasure of the President.’ If they go rogue they can be dismissed, rightly so.
We who belong to Christ Jesus need to realize that our highest purpose is found in knowing and doing the will of God. We do well to look ourselves in the mirror and say “I serve at the Lord’s pleasure.” God does not enslave us or turn us into mindless drones! He does not rob us of our reason but He asks us to surrender our will to His, to conform our mind to the wisdom of His rule. Paul often referred to himself as “the servant of Christ.” The word he used in the NT language is better translated ‘slave.’ He was not enslaved, but submitted, surrendering his rights.
In the OT a curious law about serving was given to Israel. If a fellow Israelite became a slave through debt he could only be compelled to service for 6 years. The law required that he was released in the 7th year. If that person, however, had found a home in the master’s household, he could opt for a lifetime of service. “The slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.” (Exodus 21:5-6, NLT) The concept may challenge our modern mind, but it is a pattern for us as we serve God! We love Him and we are marked to serve.
If we wrestle with the idea of submission,
it is probably because we have made our God too small
and therefore we cannot abandon ourselves to Him!
This morning I read about Jesus’ encounter with a Roman centurion, an officer whose faith earned a commendation. That man came seeking healing for a servant in his household. When Jesus offered to go to his house, that man revealed a deep understanding of Jesus’ authority. He told Jesus He did not have to come, that He could speak the word. “I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “In all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith!” (Luke 7:8-9, CEV)
I am praying for a faith so strong, for trust that goes so deep, that I will gladly and freely give myself to the service of the Lord. Serving at His pleasure, since He is loving, perfect, and wise, is nothing to fear. We will have moments when His will crosses ours. Self will scream in protest. In those moments we can say, “I serve at the Lord’s pleasure!” We can regard that as a statement of resignation, which will make that service constricting and hard. Or, we can view it as a beloved child of God and it will become a source of comfort, knowing that we are in His care.
Meditate on this word from the Word. Lord, lead us to the freedom found in serving You, we pray. Amen.
“Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace.
So since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!
Don’t you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master?
You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. Thank God!
Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you.
Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.” (Romans 6:14-18, NLT)
(Video of this blog at this link)
Pierce My Ear
(Glad sings of that reference made to a Israelite slave above. It is a prayer that touches me deeply.)
Pierce my ear O Lord my God
Take me to Your door this day
I will serve no other God
Lord I’m here to stay
For You have paid the price for me
With Your blood You ransomed me
I will serve You eternally
A free man I’ll never be
Steve Croft © 1980 Curb Dayspring Music (Admin. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.) CCLI License # 810055