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Am I Serving God Or The Adversary?
“His servants ye are to whom ye obey.” Romans’ 6:16
If the words of our text were rightly appreciated, they would make a deep impression upon the whole civilized world. Our Lord instructs us that there are only two Masters God and the Adversary. We are serving either the right or the wrong.We must serve the one cause or the other. There is no middle ground. As we look over the world, we see nations engaged in deadly strife. Whom are these millions serving? Whom do they profess to serve? They have been accustomed to speak and to think of themselves as Christian nations. But we doubt whether any intelligent person would make such a claim today.
The Scriptures clearly point out that there are no Christian nations; but that God is preparing a new nation, the members of which will constitute the rulers of the world when the Messiah sets up His Kingdom. When this new nation comes into power, all other nations will be out of business. We accept the Bible declaration that these are the kingdoms of this world, and that they are under the domination of “the Prince of this world,” Satan. And they are manifesting what is their true condition. The Apostle tells what are the fruits of the Spirit of Christ gentleness, meekness, long-suffering, patience, godliness, brotherlykindness, love. He tells us also of the opposite spirit the Satanic spirit anger, strife, bitterness, hatred, envy, murder. (Gal. 5:19- 23); Col. 3:5-8) Judging the nations according to this Scriptural standard, we can draw only one conclusion.
Doubtless there are true saints of God in all these warring nations, but the nations themselves are surely far from Christian. They profess to be serving Christ, yet by their works they deny Him. “His servant ye are to whom ye render service.” These nations have been giving money and sending missionaries to teach the heathen nations how to be Christians, how to do right. What impression must the present spectacle in Europe make upon these heathen people? Surely some grievous mistake has been made in calling these nations Christian. They are each serving purely selfish interest. The object of each is solely its own advancement. It is a great shame to see these nations bickering as to how much territory they have gained or must gain, when they have sent millions of men to slaughter and are laying waste homes and lands, as well as breaking unnumbered human hearts.
GOD’S KINGDOM TO DISPLACE THESE
So far as can be discerned, principle seems to have been lost sight of; the main issue seems to be, “What can we do? How can we further our interests as a world power? How can we become a greater nation?” Although we are not qualified to judge hearts, nevertheless it seems that there has been great hypocrisy man and nations pretending to be what they are not. “His servants ye are to whom ye render service.” Evidently the service of many both in America and elsewhere, has been selfish. Wherever we may go throughout Christendom, we see church steeples rising on every hand. One would naturally think, “How happy these people must be! How they must love the Lord and one another!” But, alas! how often we find many things that are contrary to “the spirit of Christ!”
The Word of God has foretold all this however; and despite the present gloomy outlook we are assured in this Word that the glorious Kingdom of Righteousness under God’s dear Son will soon displace these kingdoms of this world, whose lease of power has now expired. But this will not be until the Church of Christ shall have passed from these present conditions of strife, selfishness and dishonesty and shall have been glorified with their great Head. Then a new force will take control in the earth. Every evil thing will be brought under restraint. All the people will be enlightened, and enabled to come to a full knowledge of God and righteousness. Gradually the world will be uplifted and blessed; for they will have learned the bitter lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, as manifested in the fruitage of selfishness.
Apparently many things are taught and practiced under the name of Christianity that are not really Christian at all. Many people profess to believe what they do not actually believe. Whom are they serving? They cannot be serving the Lord; for the Lord does not desire dishonesty in His service. Apparently many join the church for purely selfish reasons. When people join a denomination whose teachings they do not believe, it would seem as though they did so for some personal advantage, as though some earthly interest is being served. People seem ready to profess almost anything if thereby they can make a better living or get along more prosperously. We are not judging the heart, nor do we wish to condemn any individual; but surely the majority know not the first principles of the matter of being a Christian.
We ask ourselves, To whom are this majority rendering service? Evidently they are serving Self. Nearly everybody is bowing down to himself, seeking his own pleasure and profit. Although there are noble exceptions, yet this seems to be the rule. Of all the various forms of idolatry, the meanest and worse is selfworship, the doing of everything just for self.
WHAT IS IT TO BE A CHRISTIAN
As a counterfeit always implies the genuine, so counterfeit Christians imply the existence of genuine Christians. The genuine Christian, the loyal Christian, serves the Lord only; for this is the meaning of his contract, his consecration vow. Jesus said, “If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” This means the giving of self to the Lord. The Master lays a deep foundation. Giving ourselves away, renouncing our own will, is the hardest thing one can do. But whoever would enter the School of Christ must do this very thing.
To give ourselves to anyone except the Lord would be most unwise, most dangerous. Satan and his evil associates, the demons, seek to gain control of the human will. They seek to have people present their bodies to spiritism and occultism, that they may ensnare their victims and make slaves of these poor unfortunates, by taking away their will and substituting the will of another, as in hypnotism, etc. The will should be subjected to no one but God not even to husband or wife or dearest friend. We may properly enough submit our course to another, but the will should never by submitted. To the Lord alone we may safely entrust our will. Given over to Him, it is made strong for the right, and our best interests are conserved.
To those who desire to follow in the path of righteousness, the Lord says, “Give Me thine heart.” This means, Submit your will to Me. But merely to submit, saying “I do not care to have it so, although I will be obedient,” will not do. This will not bring us into the Lord’s family. The Lord will have no half-hearted service. We must give all or nothing. We must give up our will absolutely, must have no contrary will of our own. We must be all the Lord’s.
Should some one say, “This is carrying the matter very far,” we reply, Yes; it is carrying the thought to the limit. This is exactly what Jesus did. He said to the Father, “Not My will, but Thine, be done.” On another occasion He said, “I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” He would have no other will but the will of the Father; and He set us an example, that we should follow his steps. To do so is to be a Christian.
The Apostle speaks of seeing from the Divine standpoint; of looking at things as God looks at them. So after we have given our hearts to the Lord, after we have been accepted in Christ and after God has given us His holy Spirit, we learn in the School of Christ to see things from God’s viewpoint. Having given up our own wills to Him, we desire to think as He thinks, to view matters as He views them, and to do as He would have us do.
A COMMON, BUT INCORRECT, THOUGHT
The way of life now open is a difficult one. “Strait (cramped, difficult of entrance) is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) It is very evident that the great majority of mankind do not understand the matter at all. “Eyes have they, but they see not; ears have they, but they hear not, neither do they understand” the Word of the Lord. The words of our Savior seem not to penetrate, even when they are read. How thankful should those be whose eyes of understanding have been opened to see the terms laid down by the Lord!
When we begin to realize what He has offered us in exchange for all that we have, we really feel ashamed to offer our all to Him; for it is very, very small. He has offered us glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with Christ in His Throne. (Rom. 2:7; 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12) And what have we to give Him in return! So far as being of real benefit to Him, our all is really worthless. We are the ones who receive the benefit. We are the recipients of marvelous favor, amazing grace. It is as if we were to offer to a man of immense wealth a few broken chairs, a cracked stove and a ragged carpet in return for being made his heir.
God desires to have our heart, our will, our affection; and He graciously condescends to accept these along with our poor imperfect talents and to use them in His service, in the blessing of others. When we give Him our will, we give Him our all; for it includes our talents, our pocketbook, our influence, our time everything that we possess. Then He places all these in our hands to be used for Him; and we, as His stewards, are to render to Him an account of how we use these things. All that we now do is to be done to the glory of God. We are to consider His will as to what we shall wear, what we shall eat, how we shall spend our time, where we shall go, etc. As His servants, we are to seek His will, His glory, in everything.
What service have you rendered today, yesterday, last week; last month? We cannot do much; and when we have done our very best, we are still unprofitable servants, as the Master told us; that is, we are not able to bring any real gain to our Lord. (Luke 17:10) But He lovingly and graciously accepts our best endeavors, and grants us His blessings. It would be impossible for a true child of God to tell what Divine grace has done for him. What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits to us? surely, as the Psalmist says, “I will take the cup of salvation (the cup which the Father pours) and will call upon the name of the Lord; I will pay my vows unto the Most High.” Psa. 116:12- 14
Let us who have taken these vows upon us to be wholly the Lord’s be very careful, as the days go by, that the words of our mouth and all the conduct of life, even the very thoughts of our minds, shall be such, and such alone, as will bring glory to God making these mortal bodies faithfully serve our Master.
As we give this subject prayerful consideration, we see more and more how close girdling this whole matter is. It enters into every detail of life. Our God is watching to see whose servants we really are. He scrutinizes us, not unkindly but lovingly, to see whether we have the filial spirit of a true son the spirit of Christ. In His faithfulness He tests us that it may be demonstrated whether we are wholly loyal in thought, word and action, or whether at heart we are self-seeking. He does not expect perfection in the flesh; for He knoweth our feeble frame. But He expects us to do our best; and the merit of our dear Redeemer will cover what we are unable to perform.
The Lord our God is giving each one of His children the opportunity to prove to Him, to our Lord Jesus and to the angels how sincere we are, how thorough is our consecration, and how desirous we are to do the Divine will. He gives us opportunity to “lay down our lives for the brethren,” and “to do good unto all men, especially unto the Household of Faith.” The Lord is taking notice of all these things; and “a book of remembrance” is being “written before Him for them that fear the Lord, and that think upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that Day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. Mal. 3:16-18
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