servants don’t get to do what they want.
the ancient world, slaves and servants did not enjoy the freedom to
pursue personal ambition, vision, or plans. They served their master’s
pleasure. The very notion that they might have their own agenda or
function autonomously never crossed their minds, except in rebellious
moments. Serving their master did not leave room to choose their own
career, build their own little kingdoms, or seek power and fame. They
lived, humbly, for a single purpose—to do the master’s bidding.
the apostle Paul described himself as a bondslave of Christ, this model
of servitude surely dominated his thinking. He understood very well
that the primary task of slavery to Christ is not busyness of our own
making or dreams of our own devising but diligent attentiveness to the
Master, willingness to do as He requests, and obedient responsiveness.
Jesus or Paul had spoken of themselves (and us) as team captains, chief
strategists, Kingdom CEOs, we might rightly surmise that our job is to
take charge. But the words steward, servant, and slave dominate their
servant metaphor underscores a profound spiritual truth. We are not our
own. We have been bought with a price. Christ redeemed us (bought as
back—a slavery term) by dying on the Cross.
a church as enamored with power, allusions of grandeur, and visions of
personal success as the world, those of us who wear the mantle of
leader would do well to replace it in our minds with the biblical image
of slavery. When ambition, power, pride, and control intoxicate us and
leave us spiritually numbed and stumbling, it might help to revisit
some of the oldest Christian ground of all.
Jesus was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a
thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a
servant.” (Philippians 2:6-7)
course, the call to servanthood extends well beyond those in Christian
leadership. It includes all of us who name Christ as Lord.
bidding are we doing this week? Are we attentive and responsive to Him
above all else? Or do we remain distracted and devising our own
plans? May we increasingly discover true freedom in serving Him.