Are You Trying to Serve Two Masters?
man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the
other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot
serve God and mammon.
Precept upon precept, revelation and revelation, ours is a ‘walk’ with Christ. I cannot tell you how often I’ve thanked God for His mercy towards me after I have gained more understanding from Him. What a joke of a Christian I feel like sometimes after He has given me understanding. I am tough on myself, because I know more than anyone else what a lazy, selfish person I once was, and still am capable of being when I allow myself to lose focus on Him.
Even though I am hardest on myself, that doesn’t excuse me from being hard on others. One of the things on my heart today is to encourage people who know they are not perfect before God, but are sincerely trying to be. What God is clearly saying to me is that He takes us not only as we are, but also where we are.
The word I feel to use is ‘legalism’, but not as it is currently understood and used in the Laodicean churches. Let me explain. If I told you that in order to be a Christian you had to not only give up sin, but going to the movies, watching television, owning handguns and a myriad of other sacrifices most people would run for the hills. Now, these are all things that God has shown me are not pleasing to Him, however each of us has to come to this understanding for themselves, and on God’s timetable. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, to convict us of not just sin, but other things that are not pleasing to Him.
If God were to convict us of everything all at once it would be like dropping a house on us. I cannot stress enough that God has a timetable for each of us. On the other hand, if you call yourself a Christian and are not sensing the Spirit showing you things that aren’t pleasing to God in your life something is terribly wrong with your walk. Believe me, it isn't because you are perfect, but we are all being constantly tried by fire.
I am reminded of a story I read about a person who visited a silversmith working in their shop. They were watching them purifying the silver by heating it up and skimming the slough off the top of the pot. "When will you know it is finished?" they asked. "That's easy, when I can see my face in the silver's reflection". God isn't done purifying us until He can see His face looking back. Lord, may people see Jesus when they look at us.
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in
hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
As we grow in Christ He reveals to us the things that stand between our relationship. Truth be told, He wants us to give up everything in this life that we do not need. In truth I must tell you that He would even have us give up even the things that we do need, for a time. Like food for example, scripture is clear that we should be fasting often.
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things
which concern mine infirmities.
Even enduring physical pain is a part of our journey! Now many false religions involve the self-affliction of pain such as flagellation, but such acts are wickedness. God must be the author of our sufferings whatever form they may take. Some of our sufferings are physical, like Job’s, while others can be spiritual, such as being mocked for our faith. I think that perhaps pain is one of God’s ways of getting our attention when we begin to drift away from Him. Of course, it should go without saying that our God is not a sadist; there is a specific reason behind every manner of suffering that He allows us to endure, and more often than not we cannot see it at the time.
Even our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father that the cup of suffering He was about to drink be taken from Him if it was within His will. Nobody likes suffering, however it would be a mistake to assume that all the sufferings of this life are orchestrated by Satan. Truth be told, we need go no further than the tale of Job to see that God Himself is often the architect of our sufferings, both physical and otherwise. This is a truth that very few churches will ever impart to the congregation, simply because it isn’t very good for business. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this
cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
In these end times we treat the symptoms, not the cause, which in some cases is spiritual. Every time we experience the slightest ache or pain we run to a myriad of doctors and pharmacies for the answer instead of the Lord. Make no mistake, I am just as guilty of this as anyone reading this. I am not suggesting that we forego medical treatment and medicines, but that we should always seek the Lord first in every area of our lives as a matter of course.
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father
seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must
worship him in spirit and in truth.
Like God we are also spirits because we are created in His image. As we continue to walk with Christ our goal is to operate less and less in our flesh while we build up our spirit man and walk in spirit and in truth. But this can only happen when serving Christ is the main focus of our lives.
Everything and everyone else must come after Him, including spouses, parents and children. We need never fear that we are neglecting our loved ones, because when we are leading Christ centered lives the Holy Spirit will quicken our spirits with supernatural insight as to their needs. He will put the right words to say in our mouths at just the right time. When we truly put God first His Spirit orchestrates our lives. He is the conductor and will bring harmony to all the relationships we have that are pleasing to Him.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own
life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Relationships that are not pleasing to God however will be brought to our attention. He will tell us what to do. I recall being tested in this area many times. Once I had a person that I found some comradery and fellowship with online, but one day out of the blue I strongly felt God telling me to stop communicating with them immediately! At the time I felt a little silly telling them what God told me and that they had done nothing to offend me in any way, but I had to trust that still, small voice telling me to abandon them. A few months later God allowed me to discover that this person was a dangerous servant of Satan’s who was no doubt seeking to destroy me!
Friends, we must learn to instantly recognize that still, small voice of
the Holy Spirit and then obey what He tells us! This is especially crucial
in these end times when it can even mean life or death. Christians will not
survive without supernatural guidance, period. If you think a firearm is
going to protect you in times of trouble, you need to stop pretending you
trust in God. Choose now whom you will serve; God or Smith & Wesson.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but
mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
God has been gracious to me in so many ways, particularly in situations where immediate obedience is required. In every case thus far, God has later shown me what He protected me from. But the trick is to obey first, and ask questions later. A Christian that doesn’t hear from God is completely useless to Him. The most common reasons for not hearing from God is not listening, or allowing the cares of this world to drown out His voice. If we allow something else to come before God in our lives it is no one’s fault but our own.
If we are living in sin, we will stop hearing from God pretty quick. But we may hear other voices posing as God’s. If we grieve the Holy Spirit He will withdraw from us. The Jezebel spirit can and will easily overtake a Christian living in sin. The Jezebel spirit calls herself a prophetess (Revelation 2:20 KJV), a false one of course. She is the spirit who runs the Laodicean churches. Without the Holy Spirit you’ll never discern her lies. This can include manifesting false gifts of the spirit. That is what we can expect for trying to serve two masters.
Trying to serve two masters can be understood as trying to live in compromise with this world while still serving God. More often than not, there is God’s way, and the world’s way. The people around us all need to understand that God comes first in our lives. We shouldn’t have to tell them anything; our lives, deeds, and every decision we make must reflect that we are God’s servants first and foremost.
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