Child of God or Servant of God?
Jesus was uniquely satisfied. Are we?
Jesus’ fulfillment came from knowing he was the beloved Son of the Father and from doing God’s work in the world. Both are essential for us, too.
From time to time I meet believers who express a spiritual discontent, dryness or boredom. I am sure many more experience this but don’t express it. Could it be that we are not centered on the two realities which gave Jesus his inner fulfillment?
Sometimes we talk about the importance of knowing we are God’s children, and not just being his servants. This is true, but I believe that in order to be fulfilled we need to both experience the unconditional love of being a child of God, but also the thrill of doing his work. Just one will not leave us healthy enough.
At the start of his ministry Jesus came up out of the waters of baptism to hear the voice of the Father say “This is my beloved Son…” What an experience! We each need to revel in the reality that through Christ we are adopted into our Heavenly Father’s family.
But if we focus only on “being” God’s child, we will miss out on so much that comes from engaging int eh mission of our Heavenly Father.
After speaking with the woman at the well (John 4) Jesus’ disciples arrived with food. He told them he had food they didn’t know about, which was to do the will and works of the Father. Then in the very next verse Jesus points to the harvest. In other words, the “work” Jesus was about was reaching people far from God, and He urges His followers to see the opportunity He does.
There are many ways to serve in the Kingdom of God. However, believers will be most fulfilled when they in some way are engaged in reaching people for Christ. In fact, the more directly one is doing this, the more fulfilled you will be. There is nothing quite like the thrill of helping to introduce someone to Jesus and see their life changed. All ministries are important, but they shouldn’t replace the front-line sharing of Christ.
If we are opening our hearts and minds to the reality that we are beloved children of God, and also participating in the harvest work, there will be lasting fulfillment.