Drudgery, force, monotony, chore, work, labour, military service and slavery are some of the terms that come to mind when we think of the word duty, but is this what God is really calling us to?
Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10: 41 – 42 paraphrased).
The word relationship is bandied about quite widely today, in reference to our relationship with Father God and although we say we are in relationship; what does this really mean? To be in relationship with God, the unseen lover of our souls.
Reading through parables like the ‘Talents’, ‘The labourers in the vineyard’ and others like this in the Gospels, we’re drawn to the urgency of the times. So much to do and truly the harvest is plentiful but the labourers few! So we panic and out of this place of unrest, drift into an unconscious service to God born out of duty and anxiety. Can you relate?
Reading the bible because that’s what we know is expected, or because we want things to go well for us today. Serving in our local fellowships because we’re seeking to earn God’s love, favour, protection and the approval of man.
This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us… (1John 4:10)
Our walk with God should be based on a foundation of His love towards us. Our worship, service and prayer; a response flowing out of a love that has been birthed in our hearts because we’ve tasted, experienced and been immersed in the overwhelming love that He has for us – ‘God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’…. (Romans 5: 8).
That’s while me and you were still hooked on porn, sleeping around with other people’s husbands, over-indulging in food, masturbating, hating our neighbours, murdering and living selfish lives; God looked at us and said, ‘I love you so deeply that I’m going to die in your place’! I mean, who does that?
If that doesn’t woo and draw our hearts towards Him in love, I don’t know if anything ever will. There is something about the ferocity of His love towards us that causes us to yield to Him in surrender, much like a woman surrendering to the desire and advances of her lover.
This love causes us to cry out for Him to fill us with more of His Spirit. We ache and long for more of Him, and when His love captivates and flows through our hearts, it causes us to be drawn towards others in love.
We become filled with more of Him and are awakened to the needs of others around us and less concerned with our own needs, wants and desires.
We’re drawn to read His word because we long to hear what He’s saying and not because we have to read His word. We want to spend time with Him and sing songs of worship and praise to Him because we’re in love with Him, not because it’s a formula for making ‘the blessings come down!’.
‘Take me away with you! Let’s run off together! An elopement with my King – lover! We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing, we make great music. Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine. Everyone loves you- of course! And why not…..? (Song of Solomon 1: 4 – 6 MSG).
We serve Him because we’ve become intoxicated with His love… His love has captured our hearts; His perfect love casting the fear out, and we are enabled to serve out of a place of rest, of peace, love and of acceptance.
From this place, we are empowered and compelled to exceed anything we could ever have done out of a sense of duty; our hearts respond saying “here I am Lord, you gave me your life, I give you my all”
We are Sons, we’re accepted, and we are loved.