The Redemptive Gift of servant stronghold comes from the servant’s natural strength.
The redemptive gift of servant stronghold occurs from a misuse of their natural strength. The servant’s drive comes from the second compound name of Jehovah, Jehovah Rapha – to heal, mend, and cleanse. Servants know this healing occurs as we all work together in obedience to authority. This is exactly what God says in Exodus 15:26 where He reveals Himself in this way. God, of course, expresses these seven aspects of His nature in the healthiest way. When the children of Israel did not obey and took advantage of God’s service to them, God allowed them to face the consequences of their actions and they could not enter the promised land. Servants must learn this lesson.
Obviously servants receive fulfillment from serving, but why? They pursue an atmosphere where people work together and are empowered to fulfill a mission. This is a clean atmosphere where God delights to be in the midst of His people.
The Redemptive Gift of Servant Stronghold
The stronghold occurs from a wrong relationship with service. This is when, while serving others, a servant actually gets their own needs met.
There are 3 vulnerabilities common to man:
- To promote ourselves
- To protect ourselves
- To provide for ourselves
If the servant is feeling vulnerable and needing to protect his heart, he will gravitate to relying on his natural strength. He takes action. He tries to keep the peace. He tries to create a supportive environment even when boundaries and tough love are what’s needed. Codependence can be a real challenge for servants. They often comply repeatedly to unreasonable demands from their bosses and allow bad behavior from spouses and children.
Unlike the prophet, the servant seeks peace above everything – no rocking the boat or causing any disturbance. Their hearts desire is that “we’d all just get along,” and they will constantly strive for that, even to the point of accepting abuse if necessary.
George served his boss faithfully. He was competent in every aspect of his job and stayed later than most other employees and always got more done. Yet repeatedly the boss promoted others instead of him. George would feel slighted but would then decide to buckle down and work even harder. Finally, after much prayer and counsel, George asked his boss why he was never promoted. He was shocked at his boss’s answer: “I thought you enjoyed your current position so much that I didn’t think you wanted to be promoted. You never came to me and told me you wanted that.”
Servants have to risk speaking up, even when it might damage the atmosphere of peace. It is ungodly to express bad behavior. It can also be ungodly to allow it.
We All Battle
We all are called to be serving others with our gifting yet setting appropriate boundaries when others seek to take advantage of that. Serving becomes a problem when we have our identity in it. The minute our identity is rooted in our serving rather than in being a child of God, we are battling the redemptive gift of servant stronghold. Asking a servant to only receive and not give is a real test of their healing and their place of identity.
The servant must learn to walk in authority. It feels counterintuitive to them to show tough love or set boundaries on people, it just doesn’t feel supportive. Their key for overcoming is to work through this. They must be able to put their servant gift on the altar and trust God to meet their needs, even when they have to stop serving others, disturb the serenity, and start standing up for themselves.
Next week we’ll look at the Redemptive Gift of Teacher stronghold of intellectualizing.