Fits and Starts

"Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant." (1 Corinthians 7:21-22)

Paul, writing to the Corinthians, of the counterintuitive Christian mindset that should, should accompany, how can I say this? Indentured servitude. Essentially slavery. As the Gospel of Christ spread by word of mouth and conflagrated into a full-fledged underground movement, those who found themselves serving others in whatever capacity, were tempted to get rankled over the fact that they had other "lords and masters" who vyed for their attentions, spent their time and essentially stole their life. Where is the "liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17) that Paul speaks of? Aside from the fact that the Christians in Corinth found themselves high and dry in an atmosphere of debauchery and licentiousness--like the worst of Mardi Gras all the time--I don't know much about Paul's letter to the Corinthians. But this concept of delightful servitude! Who in their right mind would want to serve another--call it what you will--when they had received the palpable freedom that Jesus Christ worked and slaved and died to give them? But that's the way it is. We find ourselves now, in a world where up is down and vice-versa. Where if you truly desire to become something or someone, you have to lay that down and serve others. You have to place your will and your whims at the feet of the One who gave them to you in the first place.

He also gave you (and me) this: "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Corinthians 1:22)

The portion of the Holy Spirit you received upon salvation is like a down payment on Heaven. Having worked through the difficulties of having to work on this earth and all that entails, I'm not inclined to see Heaven as a place where one kicks back, feet up, while angels feed me grapes one at a time. When God ordained the Sabbath, I believe it was necessary. And what was one doing the other six days? Working. This world takes hard work--it requires it. And if we're not willing to put in the hours to see that things run smoothly, things could very well grind to a halt. Same goes for our walk before the Lord. Tally up your thoughts and realize that Paul said to "bring every [one] into captivity" (2 Corinthians 10:5).

False starts

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with my eye." (Psalm 32:8)

Our "call" if you could call it that, is a mercurial, fluid thing. I find that as life goes on, the things I desired and the doors I sought to go through, change. The kernel of impetus remains the same, but I find that it grows and blossoms into something that necessarily involves more than just myself and is greater than the sum of its parts. The age-old adage of "follow your heart" holds true, yes. But if I'm following my heart, and someone else is following their heart, is there a greater "heart" at work? Yes. But rather than focus on the call, the further out I (we) get, the more imperative it is that me and my brothers and sisters in Christ are not just hammering out the vision that we now share, but that we all, individually and now corporately, are following God. All things flow back to Him. And this is where falsehood is so deplorable. When once you've dealt with the falsehood of your own heart, are you going to be patient with others who aren't seeing things like you? Who says that you're the one to lead? Again, it all goes back to the verse at the top of the page. We never get beyond servanthood. "Art thou called being a servant?" The answer is yes. Paul says that you're either serving someone else or you're serving Christ. It's actually Jesus serving others through you, whatever your call. And I don't mean to be flippant or disrespectful.

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles" (Ephesians 3:1)


Inside Track