“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at the table?’ Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink , and afterward you will eat and drink?’ Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.”
IBS have been a real struggle for me lately. I stare blankly at these verses, wanting to get the task done, rather than allow the Lord to take his time and speak through me. I hear how some of you guys write, and how the Lord speaks so profoundly to you, and I allow it to discourage me and keep from speaking up. I wonder why God doesn’t give me such pretty words to say, but he does and he will if I take Charis out of the equation and simply let God do his thing. Jesus, give me the words to say, and the courage to say them.
The big thing that really stuck out to me in this passage is the verse that says, “Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink.’” Dress properly and serve me. I grew up dancing at the same studio from the time I was six, until I was eighteen. Over the course of twelve years, I became pretty acquainted with dress codes. We had to wear certain outfits and specific shoes that would get our job done the most effectively, efficiently, and gracefully of course. Often times, because our studio was smaller than most, I would be in twelve out of the twenty four dance numbers, and I had quick changes. Over the years I was able to change my entire costume—dress, tights, shoes, and hair—in two minutes flat, but only because I had the goal in mind. I knew what I was dressing for, and I was so eager to get back out on the stage and fulfill the passion of my soul. I knew that if I was in the right attire, I would be able to dance at my maximum capacity, and share a story that might captivate the audience, and hopefully give them a glimpse of God’s love and beauty. I want to be this way in my walk with the Lord; willing, and obedient, knowing the ultimate goal in mind—to know Christ and make him known. I want the same passion I had in dance, to dress quickly so I could get back onstage as soon as possible, to be the same passion I have for the Lord. But the thing is, with God I don’t have twelve quick changes, I have one work to accomplish, and one dance to complete; me and Jesus, always and forever. I know most of you can’t really relate with this, so here is Jeremiah 1:17 to give you a better picture: “But you, dress yourself for work; arise and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.” Every day when I wake up, my first thoughts are about me. I think about what I am going to wear, how I need to make the bed, and how I need to hurry up so I can go run with Caitlyn and get fit. Jesus is not at the forefront of my mind. It is not: Lord, I give you my day to do with it whatever you please, but rather: Lord, here are all of the things I need to get done today, please don’t bother me too much. I dress myself for my work, but I do not dress properly to serve as the Lord has called me. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” The whole armor of God— the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit, and the gospel for our feet—leaving not one area of our lives unchecked. Jesus, help me not to forget about you. In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus. And every moment in between, may you be the heartbeat of every thing I do. May I not sit by passively, or resist your spirit. I am not called to idly stand by and wait for the you to do all of the work for me, you call me to rise up and walk, to rise up and dress myself for service. But it is not in my own strength, certainly not. Nor is it in my own righteousness. I am a filthy sinner, so desperately in need of my savior. But it is by your strength, and your power. You strip me of my unrighteousness, invade my heart to make it pure, and clothe me in beauty, a garment of praise. I am clothed in righteousness. I am new. I am whole.
Application: I truly hate reading my IBS’s out loud, and I always resist God when he tells me to read mine out loud. So today, I will be one of the first ones to read my IBS out loud. After all, a big part of dressing yourself for work, is stepping out of your comfort zone.