Question: I don’t like the phrase “a slave of God.” “A servant of God” sounds much more gentle. Do you see the difference between these phrases?
Answer: I don’t like that word either. “Slave” means you are forced to do something in the general understanding of the word. You are forced to do whatever you are supposed to do.
What we are teaching is loving, devotional service. This is how it must be. That’s what God wants. He doesn’t want slavery. He wants loving devotees.
The mother is the loving servant of the child. This is where the pleasure is. The mother gets so much pleasure from serving her child, and if you are trying to take the child away, “Oh, no-no!” The child grows up and leaves home and she is feeling so empty, “The one I lovingly served is gone, I’ve got nobody to serve!” When the kids come home, she is so happy, “Oh, now I’ve got somebody to cook for, clean for. Now I feel like I have a purpose here.” It’s a loving service, that’s the pleasure.
Now, if you want to call “a slave of love”, that’s completely different. So sometimes that terminology could be used. But if you are driven by love, that’s perfect. So however you describe it but loving devotional service – this is what God wants.
So if somebody forces you to serve God, if he forces you to offer your food to God, it’s not an offering. God doesn’t accept it because there is no love and devotion, “I don’t want that. I don’t need the food.”
The kid goes and offers his mother a mud pie, “Oh, look, mama, I’ve made you this pie, this mud!” He puts some sticks in it. She goes, “Oh, thank you very much!” She is not going to eat that mud pie, but she appreciates the love, the thought, the care.
So that’s what we must understand about the loving service.