It is clear from Scripture that we are Heirs with Christ of/to all of God’s gifts and blessings and the power we need to function in this fallen world. However, it is also crystal clear that we are to live as Servants. How do we balance these seemingly opposing roles? It is all too easy to become arrogant about our rights and privileges as heirs. I know I fall into that trap more than I like to admit. I sometimes drift back into the attitude that I am a servant because I choose to seek God and choose to do His will, but at the same time I remain in the attitude that He created in me the gifts and talents, hopes and desires, that I have, and as an Heir I have a right to receive and express those things, so long as I do that in a way which also honors and serves Him. I have come to believe that the true perspective on this is, well, yes and no (about the rights and privileges, I mean).
We are heirs, and do have the rights and privileges appertaining thereto, however, I should be a servant first, being surrendered and obedient to what He desires of me first and always. As a good and loving Father and Master, I believe He will seek to use me in ways that play to my strengths, gifts, and desires as much as possible, but those gifts/desires etc. do not determine what He uses me for. If He needs something done that is outside my gifts and desires, He may still assign that task to me if the timing and other factors make me the best servant to accomplish that task. If my identity is truly in Him rather than myself, I am obliged to obey and do it, regardless of whether I think it suits me. The servant is always subject to the Master’s tiniest desire or need. It is only after the Master’s needs or purposes are fulfilled that the servant may seek to do as he/she may wish. Duty comes before pleasure and personal fulfillment – a servant’s duty is to his/her Master before, and sometimes instead of what he/she may get the most pleasure and satisfaction from, or what plays to his/her gifts/talents/desires.
A good and loving Master will, surely, take into account the desires/gifts/talents of the servant as much as possible, but those considerations do not dictate the assigned duties, nor take precedence over what the Master wants/needs if that servant is the best for that task. I believe it is acceptable for the servant to request a change of assignment or whatever, if the servant really feels strongly about it, but he/she must never-the-less accept and fulfill the assignment to the best of his/her ability if the Master says no to that request.
All too often I have had the attitude of a spoiled heir, rather than a responsible and dutiful servant/heir. To an ‘outsider’, the heir has all authority and power, however, the properly positioned heir is, his or herself, humbly submitted to the Master, while also walking in the authority and privilege of heirship. He/she is a servant to the Master, while at the same time, in the position of power and authority toward those outside that relationship between Master/Father and Servant/Heir. The heirship is because of the servant-hood, not the other way around.
I get wrapped up in the idea of being an Heir to the promises that I ‘should’ be receiving, but forget that I am walking in the role of Servant also, and perhaps in my ‘now’, there is something God is directing me and using me to do, and that duty takes precedence over my ‘rights’ as an Heir. Maybe you can see yourself in this scenario too. If so, perhaps you’d like to pray with me.
Father God, I’m sorry for my arrogant and spoiled attitude. Please forgive me and tear down the stronghold of that wrong way of thinking within me. Restore and build up a proper pattern of humble submission and loving obedience in my soul, mind, and spirit. Help me to properly position myself to You as a servant/heir rather than standing on a false and self-serving sense of privilege. I am Yours to command, in Jesus’ name, Amen.