“As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart.” Eph. 6:6
Sometimes I try to “sell” Jesus to people based on all the promises that he gives for an abundant life, freedom, or forgiveness. Those are all totally wonderful blessings, but I have realized they are only perks of a life of commitment. The commitment is to become a “slave of Christ” and to do it voluntarily.
I have also realized that dedication isn’t just for priests or nuns. It is not just for monks living in a mountain monastery somewhere. The call to become a “slave of Christ” is for every man and woman who seeks to follow Jesus.
So what does a modern-day “slave” look like? Well, according to its definition it is “one who is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.” Now I have to ask myself if that describes my relationship with Jesus. Am I devoted to him so much that I throw my own interests in the trash? Do I make my plans for the day, or even my life based on what MY goals are? Have I really sacrificed it all to him?
- My happiness
- My marriage
- My job
- Being right
- My comfort
Interestingly, Paul and Timothy (Phil. 1:1), James (Ja. 1:1), Peter (2Pet. 1:1) and Jude (Jude 1:1) all open their epistles by identifying themselves as a slave of Christ. What if we did that? “Hello, may I ask who’s calling?” “Yes, this is Serena, Slave of Christ.” What IF my identity wasn’t in just being religious, modest, or a church-goer? What IF my identity was “Slave of Christ”?
What if, instead of feeling like I was entitled to my income, health or family, I felt like I was an “unworthy servant”?
“When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, ‘Come in and eat with me’? No, he says, ‘Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.’ And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’” Luke 17:7-10
Jesus isn’t asking us to do anything that he wasn’t willing to do himself. The student isn’t greater than the teacher. Jesus devoted himself to you, disregarding his own interests. He took his will, trashed it, and went to the cross. Now the call of every Christian is to follow him.
The beautiful thing about this voluntary slavery is that once we have endured the pain of submission and sacrifice he will count us worthy. No longer will we be slaves, but he says, “I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” 1 Pet 5:6