13 September, 2006

Engaging God: His Servants - His Friends

Kansas Bob said that the hardest thing about engaging God is engaging my heart.

Amen.

This series is about finding a way to stir our hearts toward Him. A fresh sight of His face can put wings on our feet. If God is kind, this series will never end. And if God grace abounds, it will be worth reading. :-)

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Jesus had ministering servants, angels, while He was here on earth. We seem them a time or two in the gospels. He also called His disciples servants, for a while. And we are His servants still, but only in part. Our friendship with Him is a much bigger deal.

Joh 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Being the servant of God is an honor beyond anything to which we might aspire. In Isaiah and in the Revelation, the angels stand before the Throne, and cry out, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty." They are privileged to worship Him. But Jesus promotes His disciples above those angels. He acknowledges them as His friends.

What do you look for in a friend?

Presumably, not someone to follow you around all day, extolling your virtues. ;-) [Though, reading Dorkman is causing me to see this sentence in a different light.]

That's not what God is looking for in a friend, either. What He is looking for is much, much harder. He is looking for a partner to share His life, His experiences, His plans. God is looking for His equal.

And He has found that in you.

Forgive me if I don't know whether that statement needs to be defended. Do you find that controversial, or do you accept it as a glorious, but elementary part of the faith? I will offer this one brief defense. We are to be the bride of Christ, and marriage partners are to be equally yoked. God would never violate the words He gave to Paul. Ergo, He finds His yokemate in us.

The relationship we have with God is not that of puppy to master, nor yet of servant to master. We are members of the promised helpmeet of God, and He treats us as friends.

Friends do not worship each other, but share each other's lives. They laugh with the good things and cry with the bad, together. They go with each other to the hard stuff, and to the fun stuff. They wait in the courtroom and the hospital to hear how things went. And they check out plays and parks. They share life.

He respects you more than you do.

And that is why He shares things with you that you may not understand. Gifts? Servants don't get gifts, but wages. Suffering? He knows that He has endured suffering, and that you will overcome it, too. Enemies? He had to face the worst and overcame.

He has promised us that where He went, we will follow.

Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

12 comments:

Milly said...

Friends do not worship each other, but share each other's lives. They laugh with the good things and cry with the bad, together. They go with each other to the hard stuff, and to the fun stuff. They wait in the courtroom and the hospital to hear how things went. And they check out plays and parks. They share life.


Very nice friend.

Danny Kaye said...

This is GREAT! I just came back from a discipleship group during which time we just focused on confession. (It was a follow-up to the Men's Retreat we just had.) And one of the things we talked about was how hard it is to dig into our own hearts to reveal the mess that is in there. It is just sooooo much easier to sweep "that little sin" under the spiritual carpet.
But the major fault with that is that we then need to filter our prayers so we don't actually discuss "that little sin" with the Lord. And when that happens, "that little sin" just became a lack of vulnerability with the One who loves us. Let that go on long enough and a guy will stop praying altogether.

It's one thing to claim Jesus as a friend. But to actually carry that claim onto our day-to-day lives is extremely difficult. It's that whole "I'm not worthy" syndrome.

Thankfully, the Lord does not ask His friends to be worthy. He just wants us to be friends.

CP, I am really looking forward to this series of posts.

light said...

I always think of God as a friend, someone to pour out my heart to when I feel troubled. I'm not as religious as I once was but I still believe in part. As long as I'm alive, I know He's with me. Thanks for posting this. I thought it was moving.

codepoke said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Light, it's good to meet you. We could always use a little more light. :-) What do you think about this assertion?

Today, at the throne of God, there stands a flesh and blood Man ruling over all the universe.

(I know it sounds like a question to ferret out whether you are a Christian, but I'm actually curious whether it sounds familiar to you.)

Kansas Bob said...

I like this:

"The relationship we have with God is not that of puppy to master, nor yet of servant to master."

Reminds me of this.

light said...

Thanks, nice to meet you too. It might sound a little familiar...I'm not too sure. I'm not sure I believe that a mortal could rule the entire universe, if I'm understanding it correctly and if I should be taking it literally.

codepoke said...

Sorry, I have been commenting kind of lightly of late. Just so much going on. Had to review Dorkman, don't you know! :-)

Thanks, Light.

I'm pleasantly surprised to find that this thought is even mildly familiar to you. Most Christians don't quite realize that this is the case. Our creeds all say it, but when we picture Jesus, we don't quite picture Him as still being fully flesh and blood.

As for whether or not He can pull it off, I'll leave that to Him. ;-) As to whether or not it's the case, the last chapters of Matthew and of Luke and the first chapter of Acts rule out any confusion on the subject. That is the precise claim of Christianity.

It is just sad to me that it gets lost so often.

Enjoy your stay!

light said...

No problem. Who's dorkman?

What do you think of "Jesus Camp?" I saw a news report about it on ABC. You can also find info about it on http://www.abcnews.com I'm not sure what I think about it.

codepoke said...

Wow, Light.

The Jesus Camp itself is terrifying at first blush. Mayhap it is not the cultic, martial breeding ground of falsehood that the Wikipedia article and movie trailer make it out to be, but I find the little bit I watched purely frightening.

I guess you are asking about the movie, more than the camp itself. The camp appears to be a complete departure from anything advocated in scripture.

As for the movie, I will only see it if I have friends to whom I will report about it. The movie is reportedly completely evenhanded. I have no particular beef with that claim, but an evenhanded portrayal of the fringe is of no use to me. In 99.99% of Christian communities you will not hear 8 year olds being told to prepare to die for Christ by a 12 year old while proud mothers and fathers look on. That .01% of Christian communities will be ostracized as soon as this movie hits the mainstream.

If my kids ever prayed to a cardboard cutout of George Bush (either one) I would correct them, then go somewhere and weep for shame.

codepoke said...

OK. Back to Dorkman. You can find a book review of Dorkman toward the top of the blog right now. http://familyhoodchurch.blogspot.com/2006/09/book-review-dorkman-by-pearce-story.html

It's an ordinary Christian novel for young people about ordinary stuff that they go through. The problem is that a dork attaches himself to a cool kid, and makes his life miserable. Very enjoyable.

No one is asked to die for Jesus. No one is indoctrinated to be the generation that conquers the world for Christ. ;-)

light said...

Codepoke, I haven't heard much about the movie. Thanks for answering my question about it.

I read your review and read the first chapter. It was fun reading.

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