Journal Eph 6 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Bondservants: Obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ—not by the way of eye-service, as people pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart—rendering service with a good will (as to the Lord and not to man), knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord (whether he is a bondservant or is free).
Masters: Do the same to them and stop your threatening—knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven and there is no partiality with him.” Eph 6:5-9
Observation: What is the basis, what is the principle behind anything I do? It is that I do everything as a bondservant of Christ.
Analysis: One of the more difficult things I have had to navigate in my life is “when do I stand up for myself” or “when do I obey with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, doing the will of God from my heart?”
Candidly what I just now thought is, “when do I stand up for myself” and “when do I roll over?” Sometimes it runs right through my mind that way—and especially when I am confronted with a decision.
I confess that this is hard.
Bondservant is defined as a person bound in service without wages. I have seen it re-defined in my lifetime as an employee with the master being an employer. That is a “soft” definition. though. The rock-hard definition is “slave.”
No one in my generation wants to think of themselves as a slave. Slave definitely has a context for today that is resisted if not abhorrent sounding, but the Word of God for a disciple is clear: there is an undeniable definition of “I am not my own—I have been bought with a price; I am the slave/servant of Another.” I want to say this is radical Discipleship but that is in error—this is the baseline, minimum action for believers.
So, I am a slave to the Most High. How does that flesh out, mirror?
However and wherever I am in public under the eye of My Lord, my actions are submissive to Jesus, the Holy Spirit’s leading, AND specifically His Word. Increasingly, for I haven’t got it all together yet.
Paul writes “obedience with a sincere heart, really sincere as with fear and trembling; not with eye-service (putting on the dog and pony show); not people pleasers but God pleasers. Not with looking for an earthly reward either (like an atta boy) but serving before the Lord God alone.
Therefore, the next time I am voluntold to do something I really don’t want/like to do, I remember to put on my big boy disciple pants, repent the snot out of my heart, and serve heartily, as doing it for Jesus.
Prayer: Father, I remember this is where the rubber hit the road for me concerning Surrender. It is easy to mouth the words “I surrender to You”, it is more difficult to say, “See, Lord? I really mean it.” It is way more difficult to show surrender by doing something specific day after unseen day and not give the enemy a foothold.
To You, O Lord, do I surrender and give up my soul. AMEN