Last week I wrote about how Christians are slaves of God. Jesus summed up the attitude we should hold.
“So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ “
-Luke 17:10 (NKJV)
This is supposed to be our attitude. But it is not our identity.
Our identity is child of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
-Romans 8:14-17 (emphasis mine)
Children of God.
Children of the King of kings. Royalty.
That adds another dimension to our service for Jesus. Royalty has great privilege, but royalty also has great responsibility.
Ideally, royalty embodies the highest and noblest of the country.
They uphold law and justice.
They exhibit kindness.
They speak graciously and thoughtfully.
They present themselves with dignity.
They evaluate what is important and what is mere frippery.
They fight for what has value.
Though they may retreat, they never surrender.
It’s no easy standard.
If we are servants of God, we are obliged to follow His laws whenever anyone is looking. But if we are children of God–princes and princesses of His kingdom–then we must whole-heartedly uphold His law, even when no one is watching.
We don’t obey from fear or obligation. We obey because we love our Father; our deepest selves are devoted to Him; and we fully identify with Him.
It is even more demanding than calling ourselves His slaves. So why does the Bible call us slaves of God?
Because the heart-devotion of the royal child is so much harder to achieve than the rule-following of the slave.
Sometimes our hearts grow tired–exhausted, really. We can’t feel our love for God. We can’t understand why His laws are better. We can’t see why we shouldn’t act like everyone else.
And right then, we can remember, “God bought me with His Son’s blood. I am His slave. If for no other reason than that, I will obey Him.”
In the book of Romans, Paul puts it this way:
I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented you members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
-Romans 6:19 (emphasis mine)
Yes, true heart devotion is better. But when you can’t muster that, cling to the Word of God. You know He loves His children. So choose to obey, blindly, if need be.
This is me. My heart gets so weary–for whatever reason, doubtless of my own making. I go through dry periods, when I know I love the Lord, but my passion is asleep.
But my mind remembers what I owe to Jesus Christ. I understand that “the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).
So I obey as best as I possibly can.
I am the daughter of the King of kings. But when the wonder of that fails to move me, I am still a slave of the King of kings. And He is a good, worthy Master.
But, oh, when my heart awakes, then the joy of being a child of the living God springs up again, full-force!