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Monday, November 2, 2009

An Independent Service Provider

Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. John 13:16 (New American Standard Bible)

Slaves and servants are both expected to do what they are commanded with no back talk, argument or debate. I am not always a good bond servant. I have holding me back from total faithful service a national American mindset of personal independence and a nature that is both fallen and more than ready to demand my own rights.

I find it is helpful for me to share some of my struggles in this area. Many of us share it equally so hopefully my sharing might serve as a source of encouragement in helping others see they are not alone in this. This week I clashed with my Master in my role as a bond servant. Many of you know I manage the facilities at my church and have for the past 12 or so years. Over the years one of my pet peeves is people using chairs and not stacking them after they are done with them. Stacking them against the wall helps make cleaning the carpets easier. I’m hesitant to mention this as some may think I’m pointing fingers but I’m not. The only thing I’m pointing out is my encounter with my Master this week when I felt the need to exercise my “rights” as an Independent Service Provider. Upon beginning my week’s cleaning the first room I encountered had unstacked chairs sitting on the floor. I and our Kidz Zone Director are constantly asking Sunday School teachers to stack the chairs in their class rooms at the end of their hour. This particular day my patience had worn thin. In my righteous indignation I said to myself, “OK, if the chairs are down I can’t clean the carpet. Tough. So I’ll just move on to the next room.” Well I’d not gone five feet when an inner voice said to me, “You say you’re my bond servant, Ken. Don’t you know a servant does whatever he is commanded? You cannot be selective in your obedience for a servant has no right to refuse any commands that aren’t well-liked. A servant serves the one who commands him. You may think you're cleaning this church for the people but you are cleaning it for Me your Master.” I returned and stacked those chairs and even did a little extra cleaning for that particular room not to my own credit but to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

I don’t know if any of you ever deal with that but I do all too often. My “rights” are particularly dear to me and when I feel they are being trampled on it can really make me itch. But a lord never makes suggestions to a servant but instructs and, yes, even commands that his will be done. How can I call Him Lord and not do what He tells me? Can I be a true bond servant when I say “Sorry Lord, I’m not willing to follow that command”? When coming to the point of true servanthood I can only understand I am not my own. As a true servant I cannot be selective in completing all I am called to do. As the Lord commands me so must I obey in every circumstance. It comes down to a matter of the heart. After all, does a servant
do whatever his Lord tells him or file a 1099 as an Independent Service Provider?