Being a faithful servant, first of all, is a decision that has to be made. We must determine to serve the Lord. However, the decision to serve Him is not usually made at the time of conversion. When a person comes for salvation, he is mostly aware of his shortcomings, and sinful nature. Because he is so focused on what he is, he cries out for forgiveness and salvation. Consequently, he is not thinking so much about serving at that point. The decision to serve the Lord, if made at all, is usually made later.
What would being a servant of the Lord involve? If you had a servant, what would his duties be? He would do whatever you told him to do, wouldn’t he? So if we want to be servants of the Lord, then we should do whatever He asks us to do.
Now think of some of the duties of a servant. Suppose one of you housewives had a servant. You would like that, wouldn’t you? Every homemaker or housewife doesn’t like to cook, for example. It would be nice to have someone cook your meals, serve the table, wash the dishes, etc. You would have your servant meet your needs, wouldn’t you? Whatever your needs are, and that would depend upon the particular sphere in which you live; your servant’s job would be to meet the needs you have.
Does God have needs? He doesn’t have to have needs. God is all powerful, all knowing, all present. He could probably get along very well without us. He got along without us before we got here. How about before man was created? He didn’t just come on the scene with Adam and Eve. He has always existed; He is eternal.
It seems that God has determined and so chosen to have needs in order that we can become His servants. To be a servant of the Lord, though, is more than performing certain acts or duties. Those things are involved, but sometimes we miss the more important aspects of serving the Lord – serving Him in worship, serving Him by giving Him what He really wants.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
God is seeking worshipers. Therefore, we can serve Him best by being worshipers. We often think of the Lord blessing us, but how often do we think of blessing Him? Ministering unto Him? That is a worshiper. He is one who ministers to the Lord, one who blesses Him, one who serves Him and loves Him with all his heart.
Exodus 21:2-6 If thou
buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go
out free for nothing.
3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.
5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
If a man bought a Hebrew servant, it was required of him to set the servant free in the seventh year of his servitude. If the servant was married already, he would take his wife with him. But if he was given a wife by his master and had children, he could not take them with him. They belonged to the master. However, if the servant said, “I love my wife and children. I love also my master and desire to serve him continuously,” then they would take the servant to the front door to the door post of the house. There they would take an awl, put his ear against the door post, and drive the awl through the lobe of his ear. Now the servant was no longer just a servant. For the past six years he had served his master because of his debt to him. He was obligated because his master had bought him. Some Christians serve the Lord on the same basis. They know that His shed blood bought them, so they serve Him. Thank God for them, even though it is a service out of duty, because there are many who never serve at all. However, there is a higher level of dedicated service to the Lord. There is also the servant who serves the Lord, not because he was bought or expected to, but because he made a decision based on a love for his master.
The servant having his ear lobe pierced with the awl at the door post meant that he was entering a higher level of relationship with his master. He was gaining access to the realm where the master dwells.
Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice
and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened (pierced): burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou
7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8 I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart.
There is the difference! The ear is pierced and no longer is the service of the servant a sacrifice or an offering. It is not a burnt offering or sin offering or anything that is required. Instead of a response to a duty or obligation, it is a service born out of a delight to do the will of God. This servant does not wait for a commandment from God, for the Word of the Lord is within his heart.
It is also interesting to note that not only are there different levels of service, but there are also different levels of the will of God. Paul spoke of this in Romans 12:2. Be not conformed to this world (the realm of duty and obligation): but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
One can receive a commandment or a Word from God and be obedient to do His bidding, thus doing the will of God. The highest level of the will of God, though, is granted. It is granted by God to the heart that appropriates it by delighting in the Lord. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4.
Let’s be a faithful servant unto the Lord. We can do it, but it is not something that just happens automatically. It happens because we make an irreversible decision to love the Lord and to delight in Him. Whether He blesses us or not is no longer the issue. We serve Him not for what we can receive, but because we delight in Him. “Lord, we desire to serve You because we love You. We’re putting our ears against the door post. Pierce them with Thy awl, O God! Amen!”
A faithful servant… What is the difference between faith and faithfulness? Can a person have faith without being faithful? Samson gives us the answer to that question. He was a man of tremendous faith. On one occasion he killed a thousand Philistines with the jaw bone of an ass (Judges 15:15). At another time he caught three hundred foxes, took them by pairs and tied their tails together with a torch between them, and turned them loose in the wheat fields of the Philistines (Judges 15:4-5). Was that a miracle? How would you like to try to catch just one fox? Samson caught three hundred! When he left the city of Gaza one night, he ripped off the huge gates from the city wall, and carried them ten miles, and set them on a hill at Hebron (Judges 16:1-3). The Philistines couldn’t understand how he could do such feats. Samson was not a huge, muscular man. He didn’t look any different than any other man. Where did he get such strength? He had great faith. He believed, and the Holy Spirit anointed him to do things that were otherwise humanly impossible.
But Samson had a weakness. He was not faithful. In fact, the night he was in Gaza and ripped the gates off the city wall, he had just spent the night with a harlot. Samson had a weakness for women. He had faith, but he was not faithful.
Eventually it was his undoing, because the time came that the Spirit left him and the Philistines put him in bondage (Judges 16:20-21). They also blinded him by putting out his eyes. Faithfulness is something we all need. Why is it that many Christians can’t see? Why are they missing the spiritual truths that God is revealing in this day? Why do they not have spiritual insight? Their spiritual eyes have been plucked out. They can’t see because of their unfaithfulness.
Ask God to make you a faithful servant. Tell Him you love Him. Ask Him to put the awl to your ear. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It cannot be cultivated; it has to be appropriated. You can discipline yourself for the rest of your life trying to be faithful, but it won’t work. The only faithful one is the Lord Jesus Christ. So what must we do? We must appropriate His faithfulness!
You can discipline yourself to daily prayer and Bible reading, love people, do good deeds continually, and it still won’t work. It is not our deeds and actions; it is not the things we do that pleases the Lord. It is what Christ does through us that pleases Him. It is the open heart that allows Him to be active in our lives. It is what Christ does through us that pleases the Lord. Human efforts will never please Him. Many Christians want to be faithful servants, but never really make it, because they are trying in themselves to be faithful rather than appropriating His faithfulness.
One of the gifts of the Spirit in I Corinthians chapter twelve is the gift of faith. The gift of faith operates as it did with Samson. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit, and faith is one that is named. However, that is the King James translation. The Greek does not read “faith,” but “faithfulness.” Faith is one of the gifts of the Spirit, and faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Faith is a gift given by the grace of God. Faithfulness, on the other hand, means that there has been a change of nature. Only the Lord is faithful. So when we become faithful, it is because the faithfulness of Christ has invaded our lives and has conquered the unfaithfulness of the human nature.
Love is a fruit of the Spirit. The Bible also says that God is love (I John 4:16). The fruits of the Spirit, then, are aspects of the divine nature of God. In like manner, faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit, which means that God is Faithfulness. Therefore, we become faithful as we appropriate the nature of Christ. A faithful servant is one who has had the nature of Christ worked in him by the work of the cross. Do you want to be a faithful servant? Make the decision to be faithful and follow it up by appropriating the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Faithfulness!
Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose