“I want to serve the Lord!”
“I gave my life to Jesus when I was ____ years old.”
“I’m a Christian; I serve God.”
These are examples of statements said by many a Christian over the years. I am certain that all who claim the name of Christian have said one of those things or something similar at one point or another. After all, that is what Christianity is, isn’t it? We are supposed to serve and live for the Lord.
Most likely, you are wondering where I’m going with this blog post. After all, these are very basic statements I am making. I want to address a problem with Christianity though. That problem? Claiming to serve the Lord and claiming to have the desire to serve the Lord, but proving it to be false by our actions.
Oh yes, we prove ourselves to be liars when we claim that we serve the Lord but refuse to live out that statement. You see, more often than not, what we really mean is: “I want to serve God on my own terms.”
We either fail to realize or remember that we are not our own; we do not run or own our lives. I love how Paul phrases Romans 6:17-18:
17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
That is strong language and not at all the kind of language modern Christianity is comfortable with. After all, we see slavery as wrong, awful, terrible, and something to be shunned. In the flesh, yes, slavery is wrong. In the spiritual realm though, we are slaves. Paul tells us one verse earlier that we will either be slaves to good or to evil; to sin or to righteousness.
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
Whether you like it or not, you have no choice in the matter of being a slave. We are all born into slavery and we will spend the rest of our lives as slaves. Our choice though, is in whether we are slaves to Satan or slaves to God. Again, Paul tells us that we are slaves to sin or to righteousness; slaves to whichever side we obey (God’s or Satan’s).
See, this is where we prove ourselves to be liars. When we claim to serve the Lord and then serve ourselves in our actions, we prove that the words we have spoken have had no bearing on our lives.
A wise man once said, “Christians need to make a choice. We need to either start living the life for God we claim to live, or keep living for the devil and claim it boldly.”
I am not for a moment saying that Christians will be perfect and that we will never fail. I am not saying that we will not make the wrong choice and live for ourselves at times. What I AM saying is that we must realize and remember whose slaves we are. If we claim to be the servants of God, then we must live as His servants. Don’t say that you’re serving God but then refuse to do what He says.
I’ve heard Christians claim that they are serving God but when you mention witnessing or actually working for the Lord, they shy away. Why? Because it’s “too hard” or “people will think I’m crazy” or “what if they don’t listen?”
I’m going to reveal to you all a great mystery here. I will say something that will absolutely astound you. God doesn’t care about your excuses. He doesn’t care if something seems too hard for you or if people think you’re crazy. What He cares about is whether or not you will obey.
In 1 Samuel 15, Samuel confronts King Saul with the king’s sin and boldly claims:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
You see, the Lord wants you to obey regardless of what you feel, how hard it is, or anything else. We can also see that Saul was rejected as King of Israel because he rebelled against what God had said.
It is of vital importance that we decide once and for all who it is that we serve. Do we serve God and determine to be slaves of righteousness? If so, then obey Him as your Lord and Master! If you serve Satan, then stop claiming to serve God! We must stop trying to sit on the fence, straddle the line, have a foot in the world and one in the church; we need to make a choice!
On a related note, people often wonder how we can be slaves to God if He is a God of love and if we are His children. We need to understand that our Lord is a good Master; the best Master at that.
Romans 6:22-23 goes on to tell us:
22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He is the Master whose “yoke is easy and burden is light,” (Matthew 11:30). He is the Master that has “loved us with an everlasting love,” (Jeremiah 31:3). He is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11), our Heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48).
It is time that we realize who our God really is. Yes, He is a God of Love who cares about us and adopts us but He is also our Lord and Master and He expects obedience.
It is time we realize who we really are and that we were, we are, and we always will be spiritual slaves. It is time we choose who we will serve and follow through with it. Live what you claim and claim what you live. Be a slave to sin or to righteousness.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)