For anyone who is attempting to raise Godly, well-behaved children, you know that when they are young they need to learn obedience.
For the most part, their obedience is necessary for their safety. But as parents we also know that a sense of obedience, respect for authority and an understanding of consequences will go a long way in helping them when they become adults.
Then, once our children do become adults, hopefully we can all transition into a healthy parental/offspring relationship that goes beyond obedience - one that possibly incorporates a kind of friendship that is still built upon respect, honor and love.
This is exactly what God the Father desires of us as His children.
When we first come to the knowledge of Jesus as new babes in Christ, the relationship with our heavenly Father is all joy and grace and giving and love. But as we grow in our new-found Christianity, we begin testing the "limits" of rebelling and even testing God like a toddler exploring the boundaries of self, self-discovery and consequences.
And so, like the good Father that He is, God begins to teach us obedience - even as Jesus too, had to learn obedience. (Hebrews 5:8)
But the prayer and hope of our Father is that as His children grow in faith, love, forgiveness and righteousness, that we will come to a place of relationship with Him that will move beyond obedience.
God wants to partner with us for the purpose of our lives. He wants us to seek Him, yes, and rely on Him - not ever to be independent of Him - but to do so as co-heirs and co-laborers, brethren and friends of Jesus.
In fact, it was Jesus Himself that said He would no longer call us servant but friend.
Many, many preachers say that once in the ministry we are not just servants, but slaves, and, like Paul - a prisoner of the faith. But prisoners, slaves and servants are three different things - and none of them have any control, authority or autonomy in what they do.
Oh yes - we can be held captive by the faith - bound by God's love and the supernatural truth of His word working in our lives. And we can be in faithful service to Him while still reserving the title of "servant" as one that Jesus chose for Himself and not for us. This is what Jesus was showing and telling His disciples in John 13:16 when He washed their feet!
But the word says a servant does not inherit the estate - only a son does!
And as adult sons and daughters of God - He wants us to mature in righteousness, become secure in who we are in Him and go beyond servant-hood and obedience so we can move into friendship, inheritance and a true partnership with God through Jesus Christ!
Wishing you Power, love and peace -
~Pastor Deidre Campbell-Jones