Thursday, August 15, 2013
Following Jesus as Lord – who is the master and who is the servant?
Who’s in charge here?
OFTEN when we come to God in prayer we have all sorts of requests: “God, heal my mother.” “Help me with this assignment or interview.” “Bless my marriage, my finances.” “Give me wisdom…” That’s quite a pattern of “me” and “my” – and without intending to, we find we are positioning God as our servant, someone we have brought into our life for our own blessing and convenience.
God loves us, and loves to hear our requests – but He is our loving Master and we are HIS servants. Under that understanding, our primary concern is to hear His voice, and respond in joyful obedience. A verse which encapsulates this heart of submission to God is in the story of the call of Samuel:
1 Samuel 3:10
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
Mary expressed the same heart. When the angel appeared to her to tell her that she would give birth to God’s Son, Jesus, this is how she responded:
I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.
Reversing the triangle
Traditional religion can be expressed as a triangle, in which people try to appease or control spiritual forces. Through rituals, ‘holy men’ help manipulate the spiritual beings, which (in this understanding) serve the needs of the religious person. You, however, as a religious person, remain the master, in charge of your own life and destiny.
When Jesus is Master, you and I become servants. Jesus knows what’s best and we respond to Him.
This is why this upside down triangle includes something extra – the Listening Room. To be effective servants, we need to be good at listening for our Master’s instructions. That’s why taking time in the Listening Room, reading the Bible and hearing God’s voice through fellow members of our growth group community, is so important.
We don’t need rituals to gain God’s favour – we have a personal relationship with a God who already loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us, as Paul explained:
He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also along with Him, give us all things?