No matter how independent we imagine ourselves, we are not. Before we can toddle about on our own two feet, our hearts (if not our lips) impetuously bawl, “You’re not the boss of me!” to anyone with the audacity to order us about. Unfortunately, infantile outbursts against rightful authority are not outgrown as quickly as a two-year-old stretches the limits of her toddler clothes. When last season’s footie jammies are pulled out of storage it’s obvious they need to go, but we continue trying to outfit ourselves with positions of independence and autonomy refusing to acknowledge that no matter how much we try to suck it in, the clothes just don’t fit.
We cannot understand our place or duties in the world if we do not understand our origins. If we don’t know where we came from, why would we expect to know where we are going? If we live out our short lives here on earth without knowing our duties, we will just be taking up space on this beautiful planet wondering all along what the point of it all is.
We are created beings. This is a simple truth. By Him all things were created, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16–17). Our generation rejects this truth, but it is true all the same. Understanding our createdness humbles our power-hungry grasping. We do nothing without drawing from the well of what He gave us. It is His air we breathe and water we drink. The metronomic rise and fall of our chests tick a rhythmic reminder that we are dependant.
The God of heaven breathed life into us and into all our parents before us, and calibrated our lungs to the miraculous regularity of inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. He is the Master of each moment as well as the Author of all history. He ordains the details, counting out the number of our days (Job 14:5) and tallying the total hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), but He’s not merely managing minutia. He also declares the end from the beginning on a grand scale (Isaiah 46:10)—what an encouragement since I don’t even know what the end of this article is going to be right now. The biblical narrative in all its variety makes it profoundly clear that our lives are not our own. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Do You Talk Like a Boss?
We could join our voices to William Ernest Henley if we like, saying,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Declaring, in essence, “I am the boss of me.” However, merely saying things doesn’t make them true, at least not for us. The Creator speaks and light is called into existence, a void takes form, planets whirl in orbit, beasts roam the earth— and it is all wonderfully good. When a girl speaks, she either agrees with God, or she’s lying, but she cannot speechify nothing into something.
The expanse of our history and the gossamer nature of our existence suggests that our injured sense of self-importance at not being the boss will just have to pipe down. Seriously, who do we think we are?
We may tag ourselves as free-thinkers, but we do so in a world where our ability to think at all was created by God. On top of that, we see that our minds, as well as our hearts, are tyrannized by the enslaving power of sin. Our first-parents, Adam and Eve, lived unshackled in the Garden, but they traded the liberty they had to live and work under God’s gracious mastery for servitude to the domineering slave driver Satan. Sin entered in and warped the good in all of creation including our own hearts and minds. The battle has been raging ever since.
Serve the One Who Made You
Who are we going to serve? Are we children of God, or daughters of the Devil? Jesus tells us:
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.—Matthew 6:24
Serving God is not a part time gig. He is LORD and He will not share His honor with another. Every day we choose Who we will serve just like all the saints who’ve gone before us. We can be for God or against Him. We can serve God or idols. We can work for His glory or for our own. We can be His friends or His enemies; but lukewarm middlers, He will spit out.
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.—James 4:4
Ladies, He made you for service, so know the One you serve. This isn’t merely a mental affirmation that He’s the Boss. He is jealous of your worship and affections, but He isn’t a tireless taskmaster. He is your Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. He created you in His own image and knew you before He formed you in the womb. He delights to provide not only your daily bread but every good gift from a Father to His daughter. Living in awe of His power will heighten your delight in His tender mercies. In Him you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28), so to Him let spring your love and honor and devotion.