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The master we serve
- Jacob Ninan
We know what Jesus said about not being able to serve two masters at the same time (Mt.6:24). Apart from God, another master can be money, as Jesus pointed out, or many other things such as pleasure, comfort, fashion, entertainment, physical fitness, ambition for honour and fame, career, hobby, friendships, etc. If at times we choose any such thing above God, by choosing to disobey God in our pursuit of those things, it is clear which master we are serving. But even when we 'are not doing anything wrong' while pursuing any such thing, it can still be that we are serving them as our master.
The next verse tells us for this reason not to be worried about our life regarding food, clothes, etc., (v.25). Why 'for this reason'? Because when we worry about such things there is a strong possibility that they might end up becoming a master for us. I am sure Jesus wasn't referring to occasional concerns we may have regarding such matters, because we will face such situations as we live in this world and then we would need to think and plan for them. Our Father knows we have need of them (v.32). But Jesus is talking about the kind of worry that occupies our mind most of the time.
Jesus says that what occupies our heart is what we really treasure (v.21). If we consider that God is our real treasure, but if most of the time our mind is occupied with any of these 'other things', the truth is that this other thing is what we really treasure. This is a very revealing test which doesn't give false results. If we test positive for other masters it is then up to us to acknowledge the truth and set things right in our life, or to justify ourselves and lose out on God.
It may be very difficult for us to leave some of these other masters, depending on how long and how closely we have served them. Our mind will work overtime to provide us with excuses, and Satan will be only too happy to help us in that direction. But finally we have to decide for God--there is no question about that. That will be the wisest thing we can do and truly the best for us ultimately even though it may be difficult at the moment.
Every person who has made a choice for God over other things that clung close to him has received a great blessing from God. Beginning with Abraham who was willing to give up Isaac, the Bible has many such examples. We have many examples from the Christian era, and some of us have personal experiences too.
It is by faith that we choose God above other things. To do this we must believe that God is real and that He will keep His promises (He.11:6), that He is more precious than everything else (Mt.13:45,46), that eternal life with Him is better than temporary pleasures here on earth (Ps.16:11), and that it is better to give up some of the pleasures here on earth and suffer than to lose the pleasures of being with Him (2Co.4:17;Lk.9:25).
When we choose God above all else, we will not lose. He will give all we need (Mt.6:33).