And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by streaching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus (Acts 4:29-30 KJV).
The Greek word “servant” in this scripture is translated to bondservant, or slave. The Apostles were bondservants of the Lord.
Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God (2 Timothy 1:8).
Paul was speaking to his son in the faith, Timothy, of the price of a being a bondservant. Paul was often imprisoned for preaching the gospel. He was a prisoner, but he considered himself to be a prisoner of the Lord as well. Over and over again throughout the epistles, Paul calls himself a prisoner, a bondservant of the Lord Jesus. A bondservant is one that is yoked with Christ as with a yoke of oxen. The Bible calls us co-laborers with him; what do a pair of oxen do? They labor together for the harvest! Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls (Matt 11:29 KJV). Before we were in Christ, we were in the bondage of the enemy. The Bible says that the anointing breaks the yoke. We were once slaves to sin because of a sinful nature (Eph 2:2-3). Paul told the church of Galatia to be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). Only the anointing could have made us free! Just as we were slaves to the enemy through a fallen nature, accomplishing sin and his will, we are now slaves of Christ, energized by his nature to accomplish his will. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13 KJV).
Lay hands on your spirit and repeat this.. Father, I thank you that you live in me and that you are working through me to accomplish your will in my life! Let your power flow through me! Let your nature rise up in me! The angel of the Lord had just appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the burning bush. Moses watched as the bush burned, but the bush was not consumed. God was calling Moses; there is always a visitation with fire before God commissions and sends us! The Bible says that God called Moses out of the midst of the bush and commissioned him! And Moses said unto God, who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee; when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. The word “serve” in this verse means worshiper; it also means bondservant. What is a bondservant? It is one who chooses to be yoked with Christ. The one who continually gives him or herself to fasting and prayer. The one who has come to maturity and realizes that he or she is not their own. It is an individual that has decided, no matter what the cost, to pay loyalty to the King! We are called to be bondservants before we are anything else.
If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward (Matt 10:42 NIV). God gave me a dream of people that were in ministry, they had been disappointed and discouraged; they felt like what they were doing was not being appreciated by the body and that their sacrifice was in vain. I saw in the dream how this affected the heart of those ministering. The Lord wants you to know that your ministry is a drink offering to him, even when what you are pouring out seems to be unappreciated by others. He is pleased with your sacrifice. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all (Phil 2:17 ESV). Paul said that his life was a drink offering to the Lord. Paul’s ministry was powerful, not only because of the miracles that he saw, not only because he wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, but that he laid his life down for God and also for the brethren.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (Psalm 84:10). David called himself a doorkeeper. He knew he had a ministry and that was to minister before the Lord. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches (Psalm 63:5-6). David loved to minister to the Lord; that was his first ministry. David was a psalmist, a poet, a prophet, priest, and a king over Israel. Yet, before he was any of those things, he was a friend of God; he was a doorkeeper, a bondservant of the King! After Jesus had risen from the dead, he appeared to Peter; Peter was one who had denied Jesus three times. But Jesus asked Him three times: Peter, do you love me? Then feed my sheep! Then the Lord told Peter, Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go (John 21:18). Jesus was telling Peter that he would one day lay his life down for the gospel. We know that Peter was later crucified upside down.
There is a price attached to following Jesus. Many may want the title of Apostle or Prophet, but the truth is that very few want to be bondservants. We are called to be bondservants of Christ. We are love-slaves to Him, and that is truly our reward!
JESSE SHAMP, author
AMY SHAMP, author