The Bondservants of the Most High
By Evan Wiggs
(Acts 16:16 NASB) And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling.
(Acts 16:17 NASB) Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation."
One of the most misunderstood relationships in the Kingdom is relation of the bondservant to the master. We do not like the concept of a servant or slave. It goes against our independent, selfish lifestyles. Many in the Kingdom want to not be servants or slaves but to be rulers. Many big egos rule the Church and have little desire to be servants to all. Jesus made it clear that that is the wrong attitude and that for Him to effectively work we must understand and live in this bondservant relationship.
(Mark 10:42 NASB) And calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them."
(Mark 10:43 NASB) "But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;
(Mark 10:44 NASB) and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.
(Mark 10:45 NASB) "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
We do not so willingly throw ourselves into this concept. How we grieve our Lord when we cannot willingly go with Him. Our hearts are hardened by our idols. Our hearts do not sing the songs of Zion but they sing money, power, sex, authority, and religion.
I want to go back and look at the bond-servant relation in ancient times and see what kind of relationship it was to see how I should accept it now.
(Deu 15:16 NASB) "And it shall come about if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you;
(Deu 15:17 NASB) then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. And also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.
When God brought the Jews out of Egypt He reminded them that they had been redeemed from slavery and that they were to not mistreat the slaves among them. He also made provision for the slaves to be released every seven years. No one would be a slave all his life against his will. But there was a special provision made for the love relationship between the servant and the master. When the servant developed a love relationship between himself or herself and the master then the provision was made for the temporary servant to become a permanent servant. An awl was used to pierce the ear and into the door as a symbol the servant would not leave that house forever. Our Lord is a Lord of people and He sees into the heart and cares about our feelings and emotions. He cares that a servant serves of a willing and loving heart if he is to serve forever. Praise His Holy Name!!!
Is our attitude like our Saviorís?
(Mat 11:28 KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Mat 11:29 KJV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Mat 11:30 KJV) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Oh beloved, this is the Master speaking. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the everlasting Father, the Mighty God, and the King of the Universe. This verse absolutely plows into my heart. Jesus, you are lowly and meek. How can I be anything less than that? My Lord you are the sweetest thing in my life, how gently and sweetly you deal with my soul. What a Savior! A yoke was usually considered a cruel thing but Jesus yoke is easy or kind. A yoke many times was for two oxen. Actually the yoke had a big side and a smaller side. The large strong ox would be on the big side and the smaller weaker ox that needed to learn the ways would be in the smaller side. The larger ox would carry the larger proportion of the load. I know Jesus is on the other side of my yoke pulling with me and He is carrying the most of the load. When Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us he was saying Ė in the midst of the really hard times, in the midst of battle when the foe seems to be all around I WILL NOT ABANDON YOU! Praise Jesus!! We are yoked together as beasts of burden or as fellow servants.
Look at this:
(Phil 2:5 NASB) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
(Phil 2:6 NASB) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
(Phil 2:7 NASB) but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
(Phil 2:8 NASB) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
You see how humble and lowly He is. He did this for us, he went to the cross for us. Three nails, a cross and the sin of the world. He was broken and poured out for us and he asks us to do the same. He said we are to take up our cross and follow Him. Be broken and spilled out for a dying world. Oh sweet Jesus how can we do any other thing but to obey and follow you our fellow bondservant.
This is how we will overcome the world. This is the hope of a dying world. The Church has to learn the way of the bondservant to reach the place they need to be to answer the cry of the lost. How my heart aches to be a bondservant of my Lord I love so much.
A.W Tozer said:
"The natural man is a sinner because and only because he may challenges Godís selfhood in relation to his own. In all else he may willingly accept the sovereignty of God; in his own life he rejects it. For him, Godís dominion ends where his begins. For him, self becomes Self, and in this he unconsciously imitates Lucifer, that fallen son of the morning who said in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God Ö I will be like the Most High."
Yet so subtle is self that scarcely anyone is conscious of its presence. Because man is born a rebel, he is unaware that he is one. His constant assertion of self, as far as he thinks of it at all, appears to him a perfectly normal thing. He is willing to share himself, sometimes even to sacrifice himself for a desired end, but never to dethrone himself. Ho matter how far down the scale of social acceptance he may slide, he is still in his own eyes a king on a throne, and no one, not even God, can take that throne from him."
This is also true in the church. Many worship at the altar of self and know it not. The bondservant is done with self and will worship at that altar no more. For him is the high calling of the obedient, broken and poured out servant. The world can have no hold on him any longer. When we serve a God who is almighty in every ultimate sense and we really understand that, the world has no attraction. Our gaze is ever on that one so holy and so lovely. Faith knows not where it goes but it loves the one it follows.
Recently I was searching out my Lord in prayer. My heart was yearning to seek this lowly position of bondservant. My prayer was that I would be diminished and reduced to the level of the servant and learn the servant ways.
I have been married over 25 years at this writing. I have a job that entails extensive travel over eight western states. One of my problems was when I came home on a weekend and my wife would call out from some other part of the house to help her with the laundry or dishes or some other household chore I would rebel and many times refuse to help. It was my own selfishness and stubborn nature coming out. In fact many times I would retort to my wife some smart (I thought so clever) answer that would often lead to a fight. I am not proud of this and I only insert this to show you the wonders of our God.
Several months ago I was praying in my office upstairs in our house. I specifically was praying to be a servant of God. God came to me and asked, "Do want to be my servant?" I answered "Why yes I do!" Then he cut to the chase and said "How can you be my servant when I call you across the heavens and you cannot be your wifeís servant when she calls you across the house!"
Ouch! I suddenly felt about an inch tall. But bless my Lord, this was a learning time and I wanted to be obedient. The next month I simply obeyed my wifeís wishes with no comment. I almost bit my tongue in two a few times. After a while I began to rather enjoy the companionship and camaraderie with my wife and was learning to enjoy the sharing of work. I was improving almost imperceptibly but changing none the less. Then as time progressed the most remarkable change began to happen in my heart. My love for my wife began to absolutely grow far beyond what it had been. Mind you I was not a piker in that but the Lord was showing me the love in the bondservant relationship. I started doing the jobs because I loved the one I served. My heart melts when I look at her now and many times I weep with my love for her. One day my wife looked at me in wonder and asked, "What happened to you?" She had seen the change and was delighted.
(Eph 5:25 NASB) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;
I am beginning to understand the real meaning of that verse. It is easy being a bondservant to one you love but the love doesnít have to start in the beginning. Obedience is probably more important.
What a God we serve! What a Lord we have! Are you a bondservant of the Lord? Do you love Him above all else? Have you learned to be a bondservant to others? Has He planted His love in you? Beloved today is a good day to start.