A woman received an engagement ring from her fiancée. Upon inspection she realized that it was a fake diamond, however, she went ahead and married him thinking he probably intended upgrade the ring someday. Immediately after the wedding though, he handed her a paper with a long list of duties written on it: Have dinner ready at a certain time, be quiet during his study times, clean house, etc. The new bride suddenly felt doomed with the realization that this wasn’t a real marriage after all, and he didn’t really want a real relationship with her…he only wanted a servant. He didn’t invest in a real ring because she wasn’t valuable to him.
Unfortunately this resembles the type of marriage relationship most church people have with Jesus. They believe that once they commit to him, he has a list of duties and rules to follow in order to serve him. This false belief creates a great wall between Christ and his bride. Jesus never said he wanted a bride to serve him. That is not his heart at all! In fact, quite the opposite. In Mark 10:45, the bible says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
If you think Jesus sought you out, ransomed and redeemed you so that you can “serve” him, you’ve missed out on the whole love relationship he wants to have with you. Instead of being the joyful bride of a loving groom, you are a servant-wife. And that’s why sometimes you don’t feel close to God. You must understand the kind of relationship God wants with you. John Piper puts it this way:
The radical call to Christian discipleship is NOT a call to serve Jesus, but to be served by Jesus as we serve others, and to be ransomed by him from death… He is not just saying, “Serve the way I serve.” This is the Son of Man serving me! Ransoming me from my sin and my death! Refusing to be served by me. Insisting on being the Servant and the Savior in my life…He is saying, Yes, drink my cup. Yes, share my baptism. Yes, serve others. Yes, be the slave of all. This is what it means to be my disciple. But don’t serve me! I have not come to be served. I will not be served like this. I will be the servant. In your relationship with me, I will serve you. I will work for you.
Jesus’ message for his church – his bride – is this: You are the apple of my eye. I have put a beautiful and valuable ring on your finger to signify my commitment and love for you. I purchased it with my own blood because it was the most precious thing I could offer you. You are mine and I am yours. LET ME SERVE YOU! Let me minister to you, heal you, inspire you and bring you joy! I don’t need you to clean anything, fix anything, or build anything. I will do that. I don’t need you to improve yourself, change yourself or the others around you. I’ll do all that too. I just need you to learn to let me love you by supplying all your needs. If you can do that, everything else will fall into place.