But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
The monastic reads these words and goes to the doorpost, awl in hand.
As we grow older, most of us can say through experience, “Everybody’s got to serve someone.” Foreign as the idea may seem to us, In Israel, when a slave had finished his indentured service, he was given to decide to stay with his master.
“But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ . . . then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently. (Exodus 21:5,6 – NASB)
In that day and in that culture, it was considerably more honorable to be a loved and respected slave, cared for and serving a respected master than to be shiftless, a beggar, serving no one and producing nothing.
When the monastic soul learns that slavery to God is an option, it does not turn away. For us, our service to God is to be shackled to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, and to the fruitfulness of which the Lord spoke most often. As Lord and Master, our God commands us to bear the fruits of faith and hope and love, and it is a glory to us so to do. We serve as dead to other masters and alive to God to do His unblemished will in the power of His Spirit, as all good slaves serve faithfully the one to whom they belong and under whose authority they make things happen.
We have presented our souls to be given irrevocably to the indenture of the Christ of God, to live under the authority of the Spirit of life in Him, enjoying the liberty of the best of all freedoms, to be free from sin and enslaved to righteousness. Marketplace Monastics live out their lives forever yielded to the purity and simplicity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Marie Lan Nguyen, by permission