Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
This morning at church we talked about slaves & masters, in relation to employees & employers. But the key theme through this sermon series (on “framing” our relationships–Ephesians 5:21-6:9) has been that all of our relationships–whether husband & wife, parents & children, or employers & employees–are a direct relationship of our relationship with Christ. How we are living between each relationship gives the world a picture of our life in Christ. So we’ve dove into what that looks like. And God has really just been working with me on how easy it is to give a misrepresentation of Himself. Especially in relationships. And He’s been teaching me, over and over again, to trust Him. And to realize that my relationship with Him must be my first priority. So often it is not. At all. I’m such a runner. Running after the temporal, when I have the eternal. Running after other lovers, when I have the truest love. He has captured me, enraptured me, more than anything or anyone on this earth ever could. Although marriage is the closest we get to this picture, while I am single I must realize that the picture is already complete. Did you/I catch that? The picture is already complete. The war is already won. Love has overcome hatred. I am no longer an enemy to Him, no longer a slave of sin. I am His. He is mine. The bottom line is, do I trust His word? When I live out my life desperately searching for other lovers and other things, I am not trusting His word. At all. So I’ve been learning that. Over and over again I am learning that. But one of my good friends said to me yesterday something really wise, that sometimes we use that phrase, “I’m learning,” as an excuse for failure. No. I need to stop “learning” to trust. I need to trust. Period.
Easy? Nope. Not at all. The past few Sundays at church have been full of tears. Of repentance and pain and healing. God is so faithful. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. This morning we went around a prayer circle with all the middle school students and told God “Thank you for….(completing the sentence)..” It was beautiful. Mine was very spur of the moment, and not very theological as so often we try to be in our prayers. I said, “Lord, thank you for writing my story.” He has. For each of us. And it is a beautiful story. Do I trust that it will continue to be beautiful?
So, to go back to the title of this story. At the end of our service, a song was sang over us. About how God is our Master. And how we do not want to be free. And its true. I do not want to be free. Freedom without Christ is a scary place. So I’m following Him, my Master. I will not go free. The beginning of the video also gives the context of the verses that Paul was writing to Ephesus in Ephesians 6. It’s pretty powerful. It rocked me to trust Him more deeply and to believe Him more fully. I pray it speaks to you as well.