We can choose to become God's slave or someone/something else's slave. Now as believers we have been bought for a price and God owns us, no matter what other slave master we may change. And sooner or later God will assert His ownership rights either to bring us back or take us out for our own eternal security (I Cor. 11:30-32). So you have a choice to make:  whose slave are you?

In the Bible slavery was a response of love. (Ex. 21:5) What would make a man become a slave? Only one thing:  love! "If the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children . . ."

Plainly—clearly, definitely, not under compulsion, but because of what his master has done for him, in a response of gratitude and a heart of love. This type of slavery cannot be coerced.

If you don't see what God has done for you and respond to Him with a grateful love, don't be His slave—in fact, you can't be His slave. There is only one reason why we can become God's slave:  out of a love for Him in response to His love for us.

In the Bible slavery was a response of commitment. (Ex. 21:6) The slave made a radical commitment to his master. He committed never to go past the limits of his door post.

These may have been physical limits or they may have been emotional limits, but they were limits. In essence, the slave was making a voluntary and radical commitment of love never to go anywhere his master did not allow him to go, no matter how limited that might be.

In the Bible slavery was a response that was permanent. (Ex. 21:6).

In the Bible the master had a legal responsibility to the slave. (Ex.21:6) The master had to bring the slave before the judges (the elders who sat in the city gate and acted on the people's matters) to make certain that the slave was making a voluntary love response.

Once this was confirmed there was a legally binding action, the piercing of the slave's ear on the master's door post to seal the radical and permanent commitment of the slave.

For us the legally binding action took place on Christ's cross.  What else could show us the kind of loving Master we so desperately need?

The point of it all:

Every man needs his ear pierced! 

Time out questions:

What does it mean to be God's slave?

To belong to God by grace and to be radically committed to Him out of love so we do whatever He wants no matter what it is or what it costs us.

What do we get out of being God's slave?

The greatest life with the greatest ROI we could possibly imagine!

Two final questions to consider:

How does being God's slave impact your day-to-day life? Oh, yes—the limit of God's door post is all of our time and His eternity for us.

What's the limit of your current master?

Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International (LFI) as well as Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. 
Bill began LFI in 2002 to minister to leaders around the world who are impacting the nations for Christ. Having watched God form his own life as a leader-mentor over thirty-seven years in ministry (including twelve years as a founding pastor, twelve years as the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership, and over twenty-three years as a seminary faculty member), Bill helps other leaders recognize the reality that their success as a leader depends upon God's formative work in their heart. Bill has been privileged to personally serve leaders in Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. He has also produced a six-part video/workbook series,
 Forming Davids for the 21st Century, which is a perfect resource to help groups of individual leaders engage with each other in the leader formation journey.

Original publication date: July 16, 2010