The life of a follower of Jesus is many things. It is a turning away from darkness toward the light. It is submission to the will of God, and giving up on my will. It is obedience to a way of life that might make no sense to me; to love my enemies, to do good to those who would try to use and abuse me. It is to stand up for what is right, and to stand against what is wrong.

It is all of these things, and more.

And yet, the most important thing is to put myself under the lordship of God, to do as He commands. And what does He command? In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the Law. He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.” So Jesus put the essence of the law as love. And an importance part of love is service, to God and to my neighbor.

Yet the soul does not willingly give up its demand to be the boss, to be the center of the universe, to say “mine!” and “me first!”. It is a change from the mind set of a toddler to the mind set of an adult, to be able to set my rights aside, and to put the rights and needs of others above mine. And this is the essence of being a servant.

Larry Norman often ended his live concerts by singing the song, I Am A Servant. It tells of a person who has recognized the difficulty in being a servant, and what he has learned that he lacks in his life by avoiding service. Here is the song from Norman’s 1976 album, In Another Land.

I am a servant
I am listening for my name,
I sit here waiting
I’ve been looking at the game
That I’ve been playing
And I’ve been staying much the same
When you are lonely
You’re the only one to blame.

I am a servant
I am waiting for the call,
I’ve been unfaithful
So I sit here in the hall.
How can you use me
When I’ve never given all,
How can you choose me
When you know I’d quickly fall.

So you feed my soul
And you make me grow,
And you let me know you love me
And I’m worthless now
But I’ve made a vow,
I will humbly bow before thee.
O please use me
I am lonely.

I am a servant
Getting ready for my part
There’s been a change
A rearrangement in my heart
At last I’m learning
There’s no returning once I start.
To live’s a priviledge
To love is such an art
But I need your help to start,
O please purify my heart
I am your servant.

In Another Land, Larry Norman, 1976

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