Thursday, August 14, 2014

Whom Do I Serve?

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I have been doing a Beth Moore study called Breaking Free with some of the ladies from church. In week 8 she gets to a key concept for freedom - and that is obedience to God's commands. Hmmm, we struggle with obedience when we are children as our parents try to teach us to respect their authority over us; we struggle with it a lot as we try to teach our children the same thing, or our students or other little ones in our care; and we absolutely struggle with it the most as adults who want to be grown-up and FREE. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. That drive becomes very strong in most of us as we get into our teen years. It is a way that our hearts are preparing for adulthood. But wise parents direct that desire into useful, healthy directions of decision-making. (And I was not the wisest at that instruction to my children. My late husband used to say "the teen years make it easier to say goodbye to them.")

But that attitude of doing what I good-n-well please is a path to anger and despair. The God of the universe has given us guidelines for our safety and to prevent us from becoming slaves to sin, slaves to destruction and slaves to death.

"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness..." Romans 6:16 NIV

Or put another way, Bob Dylan, in the few years he was writing music for Jesus, wrote this "You Gotta Serve Somebody."  I'm going to serve God or me or somebody/something else. And so are you.

We can look to those who are addicted to drugs, sexual predators, robbers, murders, or any other obvious slaves. But what about me? What about you? I have to fight slavery to my own desires and my own plans And I don't always choose the best. How do I spend my free time? What do I do when I have to make an important decision? How do I speak when I'm with my friends? Do I act like a servant of the Living God and Redeemer or do I act like a servant to my own fancies?

"But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from SIN and have become SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS." Romans 6:17-18 NIV

I John 3:1 tells me that the Father has lavished a great love on me (us) by allowing me (us) to be called children of God! "And that is what we are." So I really ought to act like I am a child of God. How do I do that on my own? I don't, at least not very well or very often. I try to do it in my own ability but it is not in me to change my behavior by myself. Believe me. But "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." The one thing I must choose to do is to remember to listen for the Lord. He will remind me of His desires for me and will strengthen me to choose right. I only wish that He didn't sometimes have to hit me over the head with a hammer to get my attention.

"Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." Romans 6:19-22 NIV

So, I guess we all serve someone or something. I want to be a whole-hearted slave of God which leads to freedom. It is a slavery of freedom. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened AGAIN by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 NIV

Oh my goodness, what a wonder!


  1. This is really good. :) This reminded of what Moore said--that Christians too often talk about all the "don'ts" that come with Christianity instead of the do's--The FREEDOMS! Jesus died to give us so much! I could do so much better to live it!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes it is, Gillian. I want to grow in understanding of what all that really entails. "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." YES! :^)