Intentional Servanthood

This past week I had the privilege of practicing what I preach "on the job." For seven days I was the paid labor at a boat show. I sat in the sun, carried heavy stuff, organized lunch, talked to sailors, and toured boats. It was a lot of fun. And a lot of hard work. Beyond the physical labor, the hardest part was what I saw. I'm an observer of society. Watching people at a mall is normal. But when they pay money to stare at expensive yachts ... that's when it gets interesting. Rich or poor, business man or broker, yacht owner or sailor, most in attendance were slaves to their desires. More than yachts were being sold. It was a sight to see. One that left me twisted. It was the exorbitant selfishness. Girls and guys alike found their place in the social system and chose their individual means for seeking satisfaction. I found my place at the bottom of the pecking order, the paid "slave labor" so to speak. Having just written the poem "Slave For Christ" the term was fresh on my mind. And it was uncomfortable. I'm not used to thinking of myself as a slave. The whole situation referenced thoughts and imaginings that were actually painful until God showed me this ...
"You see all these people? They are slaves to their desires while they think they are free. However ... "When you choose to be a slave you are actually the most free."
For the rest of the week I rejoiced at being able to serve my masters selflessly.

I discovered the freedom of slavery.

No matter what God asks us to do, we can trust Him that it is for our best interest. Our best response is "Yes Lord, how and when do I do this?" What completed my realization was a blog I read by Tony Reinke at Desiring God, referring to John 13 where Jesus washes the disciples' feet:
For the sandal-wearing disciples, washing feet was a common cultural practice, as common in their day as brushing teeth is for us. And while proper hospitality called for a basin of water to be made available for guests, the guests in your home were expected to wash their own feet. Washing the dirt off someone else’s feet was a task reserved for only the lowest-ranking Gentile servants, and Jewish slaves were exempted from the task. In a household without a low-ranking Gentile slave, everyone was expected to was his or her own feet.

The Creator on His Knees

Think about that. No Jewish person, male or female, washed another persons feet. But Jesus washed theirs. He lowered Himself to slavery for us. To show us love.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians  2:5-8

Christ became a slave for us. "Obedient to the point of death."

Wow. What did it cost Him to be obedient? Everything. Including death on a cross. Not only did He serve us as a slave, He took our death.
chain shadow
Photo by Artethgray, Flickr Creative Commons
Rebellious to God, all of us have chosen sin and become slaves to our desires. Slaves to rebellion, we deserve death. But Christ took our death. Because of His death, we are able to choose against our sinful desires for obedience to God's goodness. No longer mindless slaves to sin, we have the privilege of being slaves of righteousness, choosing to love Christ and trusting Him to meet our needs. Sin is trying to satisfy God given needs with worldly given pleasures. Righteousness is trusting God to meet our needs and obeying Him regardless. No matter the circumstances, He is trustworthy.

I have discovered the freedom of slavery to Christ. 

How about you?

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"The Creator on His Knees" written by Tony Reinke ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: