“May day, may day! I’ve been hit! I’m going down!” The pilot screamed. “They are all over me, don’t come out here!” She looked around as incoming bombers took aim on her platoon. Her wing was damaged, her engine blown, she began using evasive maneuvers so the crew on board would have enough time to drop out of the sky. The ocean was no place for a battle, but at least the rest of planes could still do some damage. As for her, she was out of the game for awhile.
Shirley put down her game center controller and looked across the couch to her two children and husband. Little did they know, she really felt that way. The cacophony of sounds from the battle raged on as she walked to the kitchen. She didn’t know how she had spent the entire day climbing through the levels of a game and not noticed that her housework and laundry still sat in piles around her. She sighed and picked up a basket. “Time to do battle on the real enemy.” She sighed. Depression.
What is it all worth? Why keep going when I feel this way? she wondered.
I don’t know about you but, I have tip-toed around the edge of really trusting God with my whole strength for my whole life. I always held back a little for when I needed it. Because, what if I trusted Him with every ounce? What if I trusted Him with every second and minute of my time? I would burn out! I wouldn’t have anything left for ME. What if God didn’t direct me to have any fun, or relax?
I’d like to teach you a Greek word today, that I’m still in the process of fully understanding. The word is doulos. Doulos means free-bond slave. Doulos is the essence of servant-hood. Why would I bring up servant-hood on a post like this? Because God there is something really big about that little word, and not what you think.
Let’s go first to Ephesians, then we’ll dive into the meaning of doulos.
“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.” Ephesians 3:11-13
Let’s pretend your father owned a large company, and you worked there under his direction. A long-time client and old friend of your father’s was dealing with a problem and you found out about it but knew that if you talked to your Dad, he’d know how to handle them, and the problem. Would you approach his door, tap lightly and say something like, “Oh, glorious boss and father, maker of all things in this company. If it be your will that I come in, please listen to my plea.”
Ugh! No! You’d walk right in and sit down and explain in detail what was going on. Then he would tell you just the perfect way to handle it and the customers. He might even say, “Here, I’ll take this one-off your plate kiddo.” When that verse talks about access, confidence and boldness, that’s what it means. God knows we’re going to get hit with temptation, worry, distractions, and all manner of discouragement. This verse gives permission to boldly walk in and access the solution, but we have to be willing to go to Him. God just loves us. He loves us SOOOOO much. Heck, He paid for this fellowship with the life of Jesus Christ who willingly understood a doulos mentality. Give Him that discouragement and stress. Our glory is not in the trials, but how much we stand. We can’t stand when we’ve lost our strength and when we’ve been hit. So let Daddy heal you up. He knows life here is hard. He knows you have to fight just to stay positive. You’re fight is a win, with Him helping you. Without Him, it’s always a loss.
That brings me to doulos. Doulos is when you submit to the authority of the person in charge. You do what they ask.
“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called… For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” 1 Cor. 7 20, 22-24
That word “called,” is the word kaleo which also means “invited”. God invited us to join Him. It was and always will be our freewill decision to do so. Once you join that group of invited individuals, you are with Him, you are a free person invited to join and “enlist” in a greater cause. You are Christ’s servant, or doulos. A doulos is a person with freewill, allowed to join for free. But there is something even bigger to being a doulos. I’ve run out of time today, so I’m going to make this a two-part series.
Tomorrow we’ll go over why understanding the heart behind doulos relieves all the pressure of this life.
God bless you today!