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At the Pleasure of the King

“I serve at the pleasure of ____” These words struck a chord and as often happens, I tuck them away until one day I awake to them running through my mind with a fresh context. I had been watching a presidential TV show and the staff member replied “I serve at the pleasure of the President.” I had seen these words in employment contracts but to hear it stated caught my attention.

This morning, as I was waking, an old scenario played though my mind. One I thought was long resolved so I was wondering why it came up. Then this seemingly disconnected phrase came to mind and brought new context. “I serve at the pleasure of the King.” Ok! So now this required some pondering, and pondering for me means writing before the precious thoughts are lost.

In this particular scenario I felt I was the offended party. But in fact, that was only true in part. The rest of my feelings were due to burnout and being overwhelmed. Regardless, when I look back from this perspective and layer the words given me for the situation I see how it would have helped then - if I’d accepted it, as well as understanding now the truth of it. You see what if it was an act of submission to serve at the pleasure of the King instead of a status? Think on that a minute. What if it’s about pleasing God through submission rather than a badge of honor? Like submitting to the frustrating situation, the ungrateful spouse, the unloving parent, the demanding friend. What if He’s concerned about something bigger than we can imagine and our “feelings” aren’t His main priority… But our sanctification is a portion of it?. What if we serve to pleasethe King? And His pleasure is for us to be conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus? To follow the path He walked - to the cross. What if it is God’s good and perfect will for us to get over our feelings, to die to ourselves and to follow His Son? In fact, isn’t that His will? What a paradigm shift in this light though. Dying to self can go from begrudging denial to joyful submission imagining the smile that it brings to God. It could be like “I don’t understand this, it hurts and it’s hard LORD but You are good and I live and serve to please You alone, so I joyfully submit and trust that You are working this for not only my good, but the good of others and for Your Glory, no matter how I feel, no matter the cost. I die to myself and follow You wherever You lead” 

Oh how desperately I wish this was my automatic response every time…

I don’t know about you, but I don’t die well. This morning is a perfect example of how the self-focused me still wanted to bemoan past offense. Some days my feelings even seem to take on a life of their own and require hand-to-hand combat to come into submission to Truth. But this fresh perspective reminds me that God is in fact at work in every situation and my inconvenience, frustration or even woundedness can become fuel at the altar of God’s Will, propellant instead of anchor, for His redemptive plan. Even transformed into a pleasing aroma that rises before His Throne.

We serve at the pleasure of the King.  

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