“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:5-7)
Paul exhorts us to have the same mind as Jesus. He came as a humble servant of God to die the humble and shameful death of a slave, a nobody, all in submission to His Father’s will, all for the sake of rescuing those He loved, but who did not love Him.
Paul calls us to do the same. Our lives as Christians are on display for all the world to see. They portray the truth of the gospel; they proclaim the message of the love of God. What a sobering thought! When I think of how important this is, the message that my life preaches, that the salvation of a lost person may depend on what they see in me, I realize how unequal I am to the task. My life is not always a testimony to the gospel, nor a sweet smelling fragrance before God. And if you are honest, neither is yours, at least not consistently. Our lives have an aroma all right, the stink of selfishness not the sweet fragrance of the life of a slave.
Are we willing to do anything and endure anything for the Lord? Are we willing to submit to His will, to serve Him as He demands, to be humble and submissive to Him, to take orders from Him? Or do we think this too severe, unnecessary or beneath our dignity? Would we rather demand our rights? Would we rather demand things go according to our plans and desires? Do we care how our actions, attitudes and life style affect others? Do we care what kind of message we preach with our lives?
As a slave of Christ, Paul was subject to God’s will. He was not perfect but he was willing to let Jesus use him in any and every way the Lord thought best. So Paul’s will, his desires were all subject to God’s will. He would not do anything without asking the Lord if it was right. He would not act unless the Lord had said do it. Can we say the same thing of ourselves?