Self-Serving Hireling or Invested Servant

Another great series of questions from Brian Eshleman today from his blog

Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? John 8:46, New King James Version

Question: Where have Jesus’ doings in your life memorably lined up with His teachings to convince you to follow in a challenging area? Or, where have you found yourself waiting for or nursing some seeming disconnect between what He teaches and what He does in your life as an excuse not to follow?

My Answer: A challenging area for me is when I’m within an environment which smells like what is described in this article as “The stifling, ceiling-hitting environments where a tyrant calls the shots and everyone else has to live with it, powerless to do or say anything that will make a difference.” And pairing that challenge with the call to serve and not be served has me stretching and trying to grow in my letting go of things outside my control and focusing solely on what I can do — to not just endure a storm, but appreciate the process of humbling myself and trusting God.

And the “waiting for” has been for me — the result of prayers wanting strong, experienced leadership with integrity whom I can learn from and grow — not usually realizing that their “not being what I pictured in my mind” may be more of a problem with my unreasonable expectations rather than all a problem with “them” — and that I am learning and growing in the process. So prayers turn into begging for the way to be more conformed to my image instead of the reverse, and my excuse for not following becomes my “wanting” instead of my “trusting”.

He has left His lair like the lion;
For their land is desolate
Because of the fierceness of the Oppressor,
And because of His fierce anger.” Jeremiah 25:38, New King James Version

Question: What false belief or impact of false belief have you found God faithful to hunt down, even oppress, until it is exposed as unworthy compared to Him?

My Answer: I was intrigued by a question today which mentioned the devil from a young man who has at times in the past seemingly sought to provoke me into argument over religious topics. And as I tried to determine our individual understandings of this being called the devil — I found myself considering and questioning and wondering my own exact position on the topic. And I found my own unsteady footing on the topic to leave me better open to listening and learning and considering — rather than just debating to defend a position/argument.

And this position, upon a teetering position not yet firmly nailed down in my mind — yet facing someone who has regularly proven themselves as adversarial — left me wondering how I might be presenting myself in the challenge I mentioned in my answer to question 1 above. Have I genuinely been a servant willing to humble myself even to the point of suffering? Or have I been proud because I’ve been insisting that I’m right and “they” are wrong. It makes for a convicting consideration for sure.

Brian’s blog also continued to hit me square in the mouth with realization and conviction like the following (the highlight is for my own emphasis):

Lord, in my weaknesses, your grace is proven sufficient yet again, and your power is made perfect. Forgive me, heal me, lead me, and don’t discipline me in anger for my foolishness. Mold me to be more like you, and restore my peace and serenity in situations and circumstances beyond my control. You have been trustworthy and faithful all of my days. Amen.

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