Fox Byte #14: The Trouble With Divided Loyalties
Let’s look some more into this question of God wanting to kill you. Am I serious about that? Yes, deadly serious. God Himself is deadly serious about it. He does not want anyone who is in only halfway. Yeshua put it like this:
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 5:24 NKJV)
And here we get another of those strange words: mammon. It doesn’t mean a big wooly extinct animal that looks like an elephant! It means material wealth – money and everything it can buy.
What Yeshua is saying is very important for us Americans. Quite honestly, our priorities are on stuff that makes us happy – cars, houses, iPads, flat screen TVs, food loaded with sugar and saturated fat, games, movies, and anything else that will fill up those empty minutes of the day so we don’t get bored. That’s the stuff that fills our comfort zone. We would much rather stick with that than venture out and do something uncomfortable or, dare I say it, hard!
I think that’s what Yeshua was telling us. Think of it this way: how can a baseball player be on two teams at the same time? He may get along for a while, as long the teams play on different days and don’t play each other. But inevitably the time will come when a conflict pops up and he will have to make a choice.
Is that really the attitude or the priority that a follower of Yeshua should have? Does He really save us from certain destruction just so we can get comfortable and ignore a dying world? Is it even reasonable to think that our wealthy American comfort zone is a sign of God’s blessing on us?
Or is it a sign of something else? After all, God’s people become more godly by going through trials and troubles (James 1:2-8; Proverbs 3:11-12), just like baseball players become better by enduring hard practice and conditioning. If we are not going through trials, then maybe we’re more interested in our own pleasures than in pleasing the One Who made us. And maybe because of that God is just leaving us to our own devices. Whatever the reason, the result is the same: we spend our time and energy trying to be as comfortable as possible until we cease breathing, and while we’re doing that we miss out on all the things God wants us to do to make a difference for good.
When your God went to all that trouble to bring you out of sinful rebellion, He did it so you would play for His team. It makes him sad and angry when you try to play both on his team and your own. As long as you’re doing that you will never play up to your full potential.