Luke 16 - Dangerous Duality
“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."”
Our faithfulness to God is severely damaged when we only give Him half of our hearts. We are faithful when we are wholly devoted, when He is uppermost in our affections. Living with one foot in this world and another in the Kingdom will always leave us feeling miserable in both. Meaning, when we pursue worldly possessions, power or experiences we walk in the guilt and shame of knowing we've placed worldly idols in front of an eternal God. And, when we walk in half-hearted obedience, our carnal nature will whisper in our ears, “There is more fun to be had. There is more money to be made. There are more trips to be taken…but you're holding back, and you'll never experience all this world has to offer.” Duality is dangerous!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A German pastor committed to fighting the Nazi regime, famously stated, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” In this he doesn't mean primarily a physical death, although for him his last days were spent in a Nazi concentration camp where he ultimately died by way of hanging on April 9, 1945. Instead, in this quote he points to a Garden in Gesthemane, where Jesus, soon to be crucified, pleaded with His Father to let the cup of suffering pass, yet resolved three times that not his will, but His Fathers will be done. When our hearts are conditioned in this way, where our plans and our possessions and even our own lives are wholly submitted to God’s will, our true self, the one we were created to be starts to shine through.
Out of our submission, our joy becomes deeply rooted and our perspective, eternal. Our satisfaction is no longer driven by worldly desires, like nicer houses, larger 401k plans, or better vacations. Money, power, possessions…these are cruel taskmasters, always leaving us wanting for more. However, when we understand that all we have, from the air in our lungs to the car in the driveway, has been given to us by a gracious, benevolent God, it should inspire worship and create within us a desire to utilize these gifts as instruments for His glory. And we will never be more satisfied on either side of Heaven than when we are glorifying God. It's why we were created.
Prayer: Father, I pray for whole-hearted submission to Your will for my life. May I view the things of this world for what they are…at worst, temporary, hollow distractions and at best, instruments for your glory, that you've bestowed upon me to that end. May I hold the things of this world loosely, never turning away from your invitation to follow You because of any earthly possession. May I live with my feet firmly planted in your Kingdom in this age and in the age to come so that I might glorify You and enjoy You forever. In Jesus Name, Amen!