For those caught in the servant stage of faith, they are often very serious about their walk with God. They can remember a distinct time in which they gave their life to Christ and kept that commitment. They attend church regularly. They most likely read their Bible regularly, perhaps repeatedly in the morning or at a meal. They most likely serve in many ways and often. But with all this, some­thing just isn’t right. Are you stuck in your faith and living just as God’s ser­vant, but not as his friend? Honestly delve deep and ask yourself these questions:

  • Typically those who are caught in the servant stage of faith are broken people who have not acknowledged these aspects of their lives and sought healing and growth. Have you genuinely dealt with your brokenness? Are there personal problems (e.g., anger, sexual or emotional issues, over/under eating, bitterness, a wounded past, continued broken relationships, etc.) standing in between you and an intimate relationship with God and with others? Are there some issues in your life that you really need to face but you are afraid to do so? Let’s be honest, how is your life overall? Is your life in shambles and you have multitudes of secrets and sin? Does your marriage or personal life need work, but you are too proud or afraid to get help because others think you have it all-together and they might not think so highly of you anymore?
  • Do you really believe you have it all down pat: your theology, doctrine, who God is, who people are? When someone challenges you on an issue of faith, do you get defensive and do not genuinely listen to them? In conversations like these, do you think the other person is always wrong? After listening to a message or reading a book, do you first and foremost scrutinize what was said and what was wrong about it rather than humbly applying what you learned to your life? At the end of the day, is your relationship with God simply a bunch of head knowledge?
  • You might have a lot of Christian friends, but how close do you get? Who knows your secrets and do you let people in? If you had to write down the darkest sins of your life, who know about them? Anyone? Not even your spouse?
  • Is the basis of your relationship with God based on what you know, but not what you have experienced? Be honest, do you have a growing relationship with God or do you just know a lot about him? Perhaps you have grown up in the church, but never made your faith your own? Do you know a lot about the Bible, but there’s not much of a connection in terms of experience and relationship with him? Again, is your relationship with God just based on a lot of knowledge? Does Jesus know you?
  • Do you feel close to God when you are obeying all the rules for your life, but when you break them, he feels distant? Does your relationship with God live or die by how you live day-to-day? When you feel like you live “sin-free” for a day (no one does by the way), do you feel closer to God? When you have a rough day and are confronted by your sin, does God then seem distant?
  • Are you a hard person to be with because you put a lot of do’s and don’ts on others? Does everything have to be controlled? And with that, is anger and rage always simmering just underneath the surface toward others? How easy are you to be with? Are you fun to be with or is it a chore to hang out with you? When you look back at your life and your friendships is there a long string of broken relationships. More often than not, do the people closest to you think that you are never satisfied? That when they are with you, that you always have to be in control and do everything “your way?”
  • Often are closest relationships reveal the intimacy of our relationship with God. As Jesus said, if you can’t do earthly things however would you expect to be able to do heavenly things? (John 3:12) How close are you to your spouse in your marriage and how strong is that relationship? If we asked your children (teenagers and adult) this question how would they respond: how close are you with them to the point that they want to spend time with you—that they truly enjoy your company and don’t spend time with you just out of obligation? Do you genuinely love them on a regular basis or is the relationship held up just by control, manipulation and obligation? How intimate and vulnerable are you to the people around you?
  • Have you become the Savior for other people? Do you think that you can help everyone around you? Do you spend just as much time working on your own life as you do helping others?
  • Really think about this next question—God might love you, but does He like you? When you picture him, is he simply a stern and mean father or does he really care about you and genuinely likes you?
  • Those caught in the servant stage of faith do not typically have an intimate relationship with God (they base their faith on what they do) and therefore worship is uncomfortable for them. Do you genuinely like to worship or does it most of the time make you uncomfortable? Do you worship when no one is watching and sing on your own (on the way to work, in the shower, etc.)? Could you do without worship during a church service? Do you really enter into the worship experience or are you most of the time simply going through the motions? Are you just singing words or truly singing and worshiping God?
  • Do you really know God’s love personally? Is Jesus your Lord, but to call him your friend would be totally alien to you? Does it seem sacrilegious to you that you would call Jesus your friend?

In: Friend to Jesus
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