“Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will…”
So prayed Saint Ignatius. To live completely devoted to God, to be a God-pleaser. To put yourself totally in His hands and be pleasing unto God, whether pleasing unto men or not.
“…not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bond-servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” – Ephesians 6:6
A God-Pleaser is a bond-servant- doing the will of God from the heart. Doulos is the Greek for bond-servant. As Paul wrote:
(He) made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)
Paul, Timothy, Peter, Jude, & James all referred to themselves as doulos; the bond-servant of God. This refers to Old Testament times when people would work as servants for a time to pay off a debt, and they were then set free. A bond-servant however was one who’d made a conscious choice, though free, to stay and not leave. His lord had become family and a friend, his house had become home, no longer a servant, he became a part of the family…
“But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my lord, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ “then his lord shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his lord shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.” –Exodus 21:1-6
As we seek to live lives devoted to Father-God we do as St. Ignatius did and cast ourselves completely to the care of the Lord as a bond-servant, and rightly so, for as Peter wrote: “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you” -1 Peter 5:7
Psalms 27 says:
Though an army should encamp against me,* yet my heart shall not be afraid; And though war should rise up against me,* yet will I put my trust in him. One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek;* that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life; To behold the fair beauty of the LORD* and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe in his shelter…
As we commit our way to The Lord we realize that He has also committed Himself to our care and we find God’s provision in spite of circumstance or trouble. The sermon on the mount tells us we’re blessed even though these terrible things happen to us. I take this literally. Others may curse you, say unfair or untrue things about you, but at the end of the day you belong to Father-God and He says you are, and will be blessed.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you… He cares for you.
An old Bob Dylan song says “your gonna serve somebody…” Commit everything, to your last breath to The Lord and become His bond-servant. Belong and become family.