It is amazing how deceptive our perspectives can be, as is illustrated in this advertisement from where I do my banking.
Woo hoo, freedom!
When I was a teenager and wanted to get my driver’s licence my father spoke to me a warning that I have never forgotten. He told me that I should not be in too big of a hurry to “grow up” and get a driver’s licence and a car. He said that once a person does this he becomes a slave for the rest of his life. He further explained the costs of these and the requirements to have a job and a bank account and the many other things required to maintain this so-called freedom.
In the advertisement the perspective being presented is that banking provides freedom for a person to accomplish those things that one’s heart desires.
This, however, is a deception that mankind has eagerly embraced.
On this matter the Lord Jesus spoke frankly, saying:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
This statement declares much more than one may first perceive.
The first, which is easily overlooked, is that freedom is often perceived incorrectly. For freedom is not the same as independence. No human being is truly independent. Every person is a dependent. The question is, “to whom or what?” One’s dependency manifests itself in whom or what that person serves, or to whom or what that person is a slave.
The Lord Jesus declares that God and mammon are the two masters that are commonly served.
The one is perceived as a powerful overlord who makes stringent demands upon His servants. But is this the truth? Is this really how things are?
The other is perceived as a tool that sets a person free to be what one wants and to do what one chooses and to have whatever one wants. Yet mammon, that is, material possessions, enslaves people quite ruthlessly. The world is full of examples of this. We all experience it at whatever level that we choose to follow the ways of mammon.
But of the master known as God, what does it really mean to serve Him? What does He require of His slaves? The simplest answer is that He requires that He be acknowledged as their one and only Master.
The Lord Jesus explains this further, saying:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:24-33)
God speaks of Himself as our Father who provides for us in all things. When He demands that we acknowledge this, who is being served by this demand? Ultimately, are we not the ones that this commandment serves? If acknowledging God as our Father and Master means that our bondage to endless worrying and fretting and striving after mammon is the result, if it means that we “fear, love, and trust in God above all else,” is this not actually the truest form of freedom?
In a family, who is more free? Is it the father or the newborn babe? Of the two, which has the bigger burdens? Which has the requirement of working and providing and defending. Of the mother and the infant, which one is better described as slave to the other? Which one works and slaves for the well-being and happiness of the other? Which one intently listens to every sound of the other, ready to come running to provide for even the tiniest need?
This is why the Lord Jesus also declares:
Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
The kingdom of heaven is a kingdom in which the true faith unites God and His children. The true faith binds the hearts of the believers to the one who rules for their everlasting good.
Is this not true freedom?
For those who prefer banking regulations to the will and Lordship of God, slave away!
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
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