A servant at heart

The second of the redemptive gifs is servant.

 

1.  A servant is quick to see need and move toward it.  In the story of Mary and Martha, Martha appears to be a servant.     A servant is busy all day and can overcommit with time.  A servant enjoys helping and meeting needs  and has an eye for where he can help.   These needs may be practical and physical in nature:  seeing that others are fed or are comfortable.

A servant has difficulty saying "no."  Learning to establish boundaries and say "no" are important, otherwise he can become overextended and even angry when he is taken others take advantage of him.  In the list of gifts and admonishments in the Bible, the servant is told to serve cheerfully.  When he has lost his joy, he is overextended.

2.  A servant lacks personal ambition to build for himself.   He is happy to support another man's vision, but he is not personally ambitious.  He is not interested in bulding a personal empire.

3.  He can be trusted because he lacks a personal agenda.  When God wanted a husband for Mary whom he could trust to be obedient to His every command and to be humble enough to take the shame of her condition, he chose a servant:  Joseph the carpenter.  Joseph was able to obey a number of times not knowing the outcomes of what God asked him to do.  He uprooted his home and business and protected Jesus.  He endured personal shame to carry out God's purposes.

4.  A servant usually has no enemies.  Because he lacks a personal agenda, he does not make enemies.  He delights in serving and is able to see the best in other people, so he usually does not have enemies.  He does not threaten others or compete with them or need to steal from them, so he usually does not offend.  He or she feels safe to others.  

5.  A servant believes the best about others.  The servant has an ability to see potential like no one else;  he is able to extend honor and see hope in others when no one else can.  

  

6.  He is highly loyal to his family.  Family is extremely important to the servant and his first priority.  While he may not be offended if he is critized, he can become outraged on the part of his family if one of them is attacked or injured.  He is slow to anger, except when he is coming to the aid of a family member who has been hurt.

7.  He can enable his children because he is willing to do too much and require too little.  Because he doesn't mind carrying  the load of labor, he can let his children get by without being responsible.  The servant delights in hard work, and may lift it off of others who need to be trained in it.  It is important that the servant learn to empower as opposed to enable.

8.  A servant is often highly sentimental.  The servant loves to hang on to things from the past. There is a beauty and simplicity to the servant's way of honoring the past through treasuring memories and momentoes.  

9.  She or he is usually trustworthy and reliable.  The practical servant stands ready to help, and nothing is too much to ask.  A servant friend will likely drop everything and run to aid a friend.  

10.  The servant may be the butt of family jokes, but he doesn't usually mind the abuse.  At family gatherings, the servant''s mistakes may be an ongoing joke, but the servant is likely to join in and make fun of herself.  This is because the servant doesn't take herself too seriously.

11.  The servant's motives are pure and transparent.  There is no guile.   Remember what Jesus said about Nathaniel that he had no guile.  There is nothing hidden with the servant, thus they are very safe for others.  There is no manipulation or hidden agenda.  

12.  He doesn't want the spotlight.  He may learn to stand in it, but not because he sought it out.

13.  He is often victimized.  This is not a matter of design, but somthing that happens because of his strong need to please or his vulnerability,  which may be apparent to a predator.    Because he doesn't usually confront or resist, he can be taken advantage of.  This may start early in life, and overcoming any vicitmization is paramount in the servan'ts achieving his own destiny.  The servant must recognize the earned authority he has accumulated by his life of surrender to God.  By earned authority, we mean that every act of surrender to God, has accumulated in his bank.  It translates into spiritual authority.  It is different from the authority we have in faith, although it has been accumulated in faith also.  It is not only "belief," but surrender to God's will.

14. The servant must overcome shame and low self worth.  His natural people pleasing and unwillingness to fight for himself, can lead to early victimizaiton.  The battle toward self worth and away from shame combined with his lack of personal ambition can make them great warriors once they overcome, powerful intecessors, with great authority.

15.The servant is often  God's choice for a powerful ability to face death and overcome because of his ability to  simply obey and the lack of personal agenda.  Remember Esther?  Esther was a servant who was chosen to go before the King and save her people.  She surrendered, and she overcame the edict of death which was about to destroy her people.  So whereas  the prophet has faith, the servant relies on surrender.   This is not to say we don't all need both faith and obedience, but for the servant, there is a component of a willingness to surrender to what is being asked, regardless of the cost, or the shame, walking to the point of death, and a trusting of God for the outcome.  Jesus died as a servant, relinquishing his will to the Father, trusting Him for the outcome.  "Into thy hands" is a show of great strength and surrender, is the hallmark of the servant.  

16.  The most powerful ability of the servant is an ability to surrender to God, regardless.  It is deeper than obedience, as it is done in love and trust.  He trusts God for the outcome, and he doesn't ask for guarantees.  It may be very costly to him personally, and he is not glorified in the end.  He plays to an audience of One when he does it, and no one knows what he goes through to complete the act of surrender.  I had a friend describe it like ice skating.  The female ice skater she saw as the servant, who trusts her partner, the Holy Spirit,  to throw her into the air, or sweep her so close to the floor that her head almost grazes the floor. The servant is able to trust and surrender to such a degree that he or she can make incredible sacrifices.    Nothing about the servant's role is easy, but the finished product is grace and beauty and a powerful proof that He is strong when we are surrendered to His will.