Friday, August 29, 2008

servants

Often the subject of slaves and servants pop up in the Bible. Christians often apply those slave/servants passages to mean belonging to someone else. Such as: "we are Christ's servants." We are servants and slaves of sin. Or we can update them a bit and make them equivalent to the employer employee relationship. Sometimes parents can even use a servant verse to talk about the child-parent relationship. As in: Proverbs 29: 21

But consider that servants and slaves can also mean something that serves us and that we should be careful to always keep under our power. Not the other way around.

Money for instance is a servant. We must not be ruled by it.

Desires are servants also. The desire to be a famous writer serves a writer. But it should not rule a writer.
Luke 17:7 "But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?"

Desires are put into our lives to help us not to rule us. We must learn to rule these desires. A servant doesn't push the boss around. It's one thing to say I want to watch this television show. But we shouldn't say "I simply have to watch this television show." OR it's okay to say, "Wow, that guy is cute!" But it's entirely different for us to say "I really must sleep with that guy. I will toss over my husband and enter into an affair with this gorgeous hot guy!"

Our bodies are servants also. Sins are sins. Plain and simple, they are things we should not ever do. But succumbing to what our body wants is falling into the role of letting your servant push you around. When we fast, we are telling our body -- our servant-- to behave itself. WE are the ones telling it what to do. Not the other way around. We batter and buffet our body as St Paul says. And we train it to listen to our spirit and to be ruled by our spirit.

Romans 7:5 "For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death."

So then, let's play the game right. Let's let our spirit teach our flesh who rules! If I'm on a fast, my body might shout and beg! If I am enduring something for God, my mouth may want to whine! But it is my spirit that rules! My spirit must rule!

1 Timothy 4:8 "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."

2 Timothy 2:5 "Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules."
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