Paul often started his letter with, ‘a bond servant of Christ.’ We are bondservants, not only to our master-employers but to our Master Lord. Ephesians 6:5-6 says, “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Character is a heart issue. I was just working on the compilation of my fourth paperback yesterday and came across this. Great reminder.
“Proverbs 2:2 says, “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.” The word incline means to listen favorably. That involves our heart. You can discipline a child who will comply on the outside. Unless you gain their heart you will have rebellion on the inside.
Why do I know this? I was like that. As a man-pleaser I complied on the outside, but my heart was not submissive. I gave ground over to satan in my life through my stubbornness. It clogged my ears from listening to instruction favorably, my heart was hardened through my rebellion, and it made me hesitant to obey the Lord willingly. It stunted my spiritual growth.”
I remember standing in my front room in 1967 saying: Lord, I don’t know who I am. I have to be this for this person, and this for that person. I had a lot of expectations put on me as a preacher’s kid, that actually caused me to lose my own identity. Don’t worry. The Lord had many trials in store for me that He used to build my character over the years that followed.
Our trials are like the disobedient lamb. The shepherd breaks its leg, and then carries it on his shoulder until the leg is healed. That little lamb never strays again because it has bonded with the shepherd. Our trials bond us to the Lord as His bondservant.
Here is the joy of a bondservant. John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
We sing, ‘Just a closer walk with Thee. Grant it Savior if You please. Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.’ We bondservants listen attentively to every word our Master says. We do His biding.
John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Intimate communion with our Shepherd cannot be equaled or compared to anything on this earth. Our heart leans in to hear every whispered word, and we breathe in the atmospheric joy of basking in His Presence.