“No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other….” Matthew 6:24
Every day, I wake up with a monumental decision to make.
No, I’m not talking about what pair of pants I will put on, how many cups of coffee I need to brew or even really world shaking decisions like “Should I watch the Todays Show or The Early Show?”.
No, the decision that I, and ultimately WE, make each day is one that carries weighty ramifications. That decision I’m speaking of is rather simple in scope yet complex in consequence.
Every day I must decide…..”Who is my master?”
I choose. It’s not a forced decision. It’s mine. It’s personal. I will choose.
I’ll answer that question with my words, my thoughts, my motives, my actions…so forth. I choose. I will either choose to bring glory to the Name of Christ or give into the temptation of satan. It is my choice. I choose to walk in the Spirit or to stroll around haphazardly in my flesh.
By the grace of God, often, I choose to honor Christ but sadly, that’s not always the case. With more frequency than I would like to own up to, I allow my flesh to dictate my day. I always regret that. It always torments me. There are always consequences….but at the end of the day, I know that it was my choice. I cannot blame my demeanor, circumstances past experiences or even outside influences. Ultimately the choice is my own.
Maybe, you are like me and often struggle with the fact that you made the wrong choice. Maybe you, at the end of a long day, look back at the last few hours and wonder “Why in the world did I give in?”.
If so, let me share a couple of things that have helped me concerning this subject.
Choosing Christ as master Is Not A One time Decision- Let me play theology police for a moment. The teaching that claims a one time decision at an altar is all it takes to truly follow Jesus is damning. The fact is- to truly, sincerely, passionately follow Jesus is a day by day…scratch that… moment by moment choice that the believer makes. While it is true that salvation doesn’t come in multiple doses over time (conversion takes place the moment one is saved by grace through faith), true Lordship….I mean really living for Christ is something we do with every decision we make.
When Temptation Seems Overwhelming – know that if you are in Christ, you have His Holy Spirit indwelling you. There is power there that satan cannot match.
As a matter of fact, the Bible declares that when we are genuinely converted, “sin shall NOT have dominion over you” (Romans 6:14). We were once slaves to sin, willing servants of satan but because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Atonement), the placing of faith in His salvation, His finished work….we now belong to Him. He is our Master. And when our Master rose from the grave, death lost its sting. Sin became a defeated foe and satan lost dominion over our lives. Greater is HE that in ME than he who is in the world.
Point being– just as I’ve placed my faith in Christ for salvation, I must place my faith in Christ for victorious living here on this earth. I cannot beat satan. He is stout and formidable. BUT Christ has already defeated Him on my behalf. When the temptation to give into him hits hard, I am to rest in the Victory of Jesus. Like the old song says, “It is finished! the battle is over!”. Christ won. Trust, rest and walk in that fact!
When I Assume It Will Be Easy- one of the most disheartening experiences of my Christian life came early in my “faith journey”. Shortly after my conversion, I assumes (wrongly, of course) that the Christian life was gonna be “peaches & cream”. Campfires, kum-ba-ya, you know, the proverbial bed of roses. I thought that this whole “living for christ” thing was gonna be a cake walk.
Oh, my. How ignorant was I?!
As I began to grow in the Word, I began to see how erroneous my thinking really was. As I “lived life” I began to experience spiritual attack, temptation to the level that I had not previously seen. And here is the thing, it only got more and more severe as I grew in my own faith! The frequency and ferocity of satans push to master my life was actually INCREASING!
WAIT! This can’t be right! This is the polar opposite of what was expecting! This Christian life is difficult! Living with Jesus as my Master is HARD!
As I look back on the mess that I was (and still can be if not careful), I am so grateful for mentors who came alongside me during this rough patch of my life and provided wise counsel. Their prayers for this young, confused preacher were heard. I am so grateful for the love God gave me for His Word that re-shaped my thinking! I’m so grateful for GRACE on top of GRACE that navigated this very confused ship to the safe harbor of true Lordship.
As I listened to counsel, sought instruction from the Word and began to find out what GRACE really was in relation to the Christian life, I discovered that satan doesn’t call off the dogs at the moment of our conversion. In fact, he sends a few more. The only thing that has changed concerning his attack is the objective.
You see, if I’ve been converted to Christ….He owns me. He has my soul (and He always will). Because I now belong to Christ, satan can no longer have my eternity. It’s simply not possible….so he guns for what he CAN still grasp, my physical life. The Bible clearly states that he is in the earth (yes, right now) and he is LIKE a lion. He seeks to devour. He desires to kill, steal and destroy. He accomplishes this with the weapon of temptation. Please understand that the old argument, “The devil MADE me do it” is at best theological fallacy and at worst a lazy, pathetic excuse for personal sin. He is powerless to MAKE a believer do anything but he does tempt. Again, ultimately…we choose.
Because he is really good at what he does, that temptation he bites with has sharp teeth.
Don’t be foolish. It is terribly difficult to deal with at times, especially if we are attempting to overcome in our own power.
So….yes. Choosing to live with Christ as Master is a daily and sometimes difficult task. Following Christ is hard. He even promised us it would be (if it were easy, well, wouldn’t we all be doing it right now).
I wanna leave you with this thought On the subject of Lordship…God demands an immediate decision from us.
He says, “….How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow Him…..” (1st Kings 18:21)
Indecision isn’t an option. If we determine to wait until another time to truly follow Christ, that is in essence, a choice away from God “One who becomes stiff necked, after many reprimands will be broken suddenly-and without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1)
Concerning Lordship, there is no “tomorrows” for “Now is the acceptable time” (2nd cor 6:2)
Will you examine your life today? Will you really peer into your actions, commitments, faithfulness, intentions and so on?
Are your lips claiming Christ as Lord but your life telling a different story?
Chose your Master now. Choose wisely.
Love you All and Soli Deo Gloria!, Pastor Kyle