Thursday, December 31, 2015

Double minded/double mastered

Do you remember the scripture about serving two masters? Chances are yes if you spent any time at all in a church pew or children's sunday school. The Matthew six passage is a classic. It is one of those verses that you don't have to try very hard to memorize. It sticks without much effort.
As Jesus tells us in verse twenty four of chapter six, you can't serve two masters because you will hate the one and love the other. Then He goes on to say that you can't love God and money. Note that He doesn't say you can't have God and money simultaneously. He says love. A big, and noteworthy, distinction.
But money isn't my point here. This scripture speaks to another, less preached about, truth: the double life. 
Jesus makes it clear throughout scripture, not just in Matthew chapter six, that to follow Him requires a deliberate decision to leave every other way of life. We choose to either be a slave to Christ or a slave to unrighteousness (i.e. sin and satan). Just like an earthly slave can't have two masters neither can we have two spiritual rulers. We are either ruled by God or we are ruled by evil. 
Despite Jesus making this simple fact blatantly obvious and crystal clear there are plenty of people, even Christians, who want to "have their cake and eat it, too." It is popular to claim Christ as Lord and yet refuse to leave the servanthood of the flesh. "Of course Jesus is my Lord and Savior but that doesn't mean I have to change my lifestyle. He'll love me anyways!" Sure, He'll love you. But He demands more of us than our acknowledgment. He demands that we lay down our lives. If we are going to claim Him then He wants us committed to Him. If we are to be His we can't be serving ourselves and following our own desire-designed rulebook. 
This is where Matthew six comes back into play - we can't serve two masters. We will always love the one and hate the other. We can't follow two masters. When one goes one way and the other goes in the opposite direction we will be forced to choose one over the other. If we aren't following Christ we might as well be walking straight off the edge of a cliff.
Following anyone other than Christ never ends well. 
We can't serve two masters with our lives, our hearts or our devotion. We can't serve two masters with our principles. We can't be obedient to two masters (especially two diametrically opposed masters). We will always disappoint the one and indulge the other. 
So I must ask myself, "who will I serve?" Will I try to lead a double life, claiming Christ while refusing to serve Him?
God never forces servitude. It is always voluntary. It may not sound like a desirable life choose - being a slave - but don't jump to conclusions too quickly. Consider this: we are always slaves to something. Either to the evil one or to the Almighty one. 

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