Hallelujah! I’m a slave!

I have never heard anyone shout: “Hallelujah! I’m a slave!”

But, the Bible suggests we should praise God for being a slave of Jesus Christ.  I confess I haven’t thanked God for being a slave.

Author and pastor Juan Carlos Ortiz says in his marvelous little book Disciple we should be so in love with God that we want to do his every bidding – no matter what.  In other words, we should cry out with the apostle Paul: “I am a slave of Jesus Christ.”

The alternative is to be a slave to Satan and our own selfish desires.  That route, says Ortiz, leads to loneliness and ultimate death.

He quotes Paul’s words in Romans 14: “Not one of us lives for himself, and not one us dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore  whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”

In other words, we believers are not free to do as we wish.  We are here to do what God is asking us to do.

Of course, I keep doing what I want to do.  And I am amazed when things don’t go well – and I am left feeling unsatisfied.

Ortiz offers a diagnosis for my problem.  Before turning to Christ, “we were natural citizens of the kingdom of selfishness”.

“It is the place where everyone does his own will,” he writes.  “That is the way Satan runs his kingdom . . .”

We are never free of some ruler – we only have a choice between Satan and God.

To become God’s slaves, we must die to our natural selfish selves.

That means giving up everything we have and own to God.  It’s a big demand for someone used to living his life for himself – for example, me.

Ortiz says we can only live this kind of life if we breathe the oxygen of love – God’s love. To buy me, Jesus died for me – he wanted me so much, he gave his life for me.

Ultimately, says Ortiz, we must submit ourselves to “mashed potato love” – a love where all our self-centredness is destroyed and we are one with God and with each other.  That is the love that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have for each other.

If we love like that, we will want do what God wants.  And then we may shout:

“Hallelujah! I’m a slave of God!”


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