“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).
A master is someone in authority or government. It can be a person, an object, or things that enslave us. A person with the ability or power to control circumstances or a person who employs a servant or owns a slave.
“We live in a society where you are told that you can love the world and love Christ at the same time, but it is a lie.” – Paul Washer
Exodus 20:3-5 records God saying, “You shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make for yourself idols of anything. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”
Worshiping idols is idolatry. An idol is anything that replaces the One True God. Idols can be made of wood, stone, or iron. Their power exists only in the minds of the worshipers.
People who worship other gods, such as a statue of Buddha, who has passed away, are idol worshipers. They are in enmity against God. Buddha is a false god who people believe has spiritual power. However, it’s the deception of evil orchestrated by satanic forces.
Baal was the sun god, and his name means “lord.” Different regions worshiped Baal in different ways. He was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El (El means power and might).
*According to my research, “God” (of the Bible) has seventy-two names; here are four examples:
- El, Elohim – [eloh-heem] “God” mighty, strong, and prominent (Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 139:19).
- El Shaddai – [el-shah-dahy] “God Almighty” (Genesis 49-24; Psalms 132:2,5).
- El Roi – [el-roh-ee] “God Who Sees” (Genesis 16:13).
- El Elyon, [el-el-yohn] “Most High” (Deuteronomy 26:19).
The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and the storm god. He is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt. He was also worshiped as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice provided the sacrifice (Jere. 19:5).
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing (1 King 18:21).
Before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, the Lord God warned them not to worship Canaan’s gods (Deut. 6:14-15), but Israel turned to idolatry anyway. During the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, at the height of Baal worship in Israel, God directly confronted paganism through His prophet Elijah.
1st Kings 18:19-40 provides an illustration of a contest on Mount Carmel. The contest is between God and his prophet Elijah, against 450 Baal prophets. The prize proves that the God who answers by fire is confirmed as the “True God.”
First, God showed that He, not Baal, controlled the rain by sending a drought that lasted 3 ½ years (1st Ki. 17:1). Then Elijah called for a showdown on Mt. Carmel to prove once and for all who the true God was. All day long, 450 prophets of Baal called on their god to send fire from heaven, but no one answered (1st King 18:29). They wore themselves out trying to get the attention of a non-existing powerless deity. Elijah began taunting them after Baal didn’t respond.
After Baal’s prophets gave up, Elijah gathered the people as God instructed. Then he prepared an altar, put the wood in order, cut the bull into pieces, and laid the bull (the sacrifice) on the altar. Next, he had the men fill four barrels of water and pour it on the sacrifice and the wood three times.
Then he prayed a powerful prayer, and God immediately answered. After that, the fire of the LORD fell, consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood, the stone, the dirt, and licked up the water. The fire burned up everything around the altar. The evidence was overwhelming, and the people fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD-He is GOD! The LORD He is GOD!”
OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE. THERE IS NO OTHER GOD!
WARNING: DO NOT WORSHIP CREATED THINGS
God is speaking through Moses to the children of Israel, “You shall not make for yourself an idol [as an object to worship], or any likeness (form, manifestation) or what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, [Is. 42:8; 48:11]; (Deuteronomy 5:8-9 Amp.).
THE SOLAR SYSTEM
In today’s society, a considerable number of beings worship a variety of created things. For example, the heavenly bodies include the sun, moon, stars, and planets. In addition, some people worship mother earth, father time, and zodiac signs. As a Christian, my sign is the Cross, and I worship Jehovah, the Creator of all things.
The superstitious use of crystals, stone images, sage, and other idolatrous things contradicts the Bible. Using crystals for protection and healing, sage for cleansing the home and warding off evil spirits, and other idol objects violate God’s Word. The Bible strongly warns about rituals, superstitions, and occult practices. In fact, there is nothing wrong with wearing crystals or decorating your home with them; however, using them symbolically as good luck charms or some other form of magic represents occult practices.
Dabbling in strange doctrines is not wise. If it doesn’t point to Jesus, it’s not of God. If you have Jesus Christ, you have the ultimate goal in life.
“Why worship created things when you can worship the Creator of everything?”
Listening to other people’s opinions and watching too much television will hinder us from hearing God’s voice. How much of what we listen to will steal our peace. Refuse to fill your mind with other people’s thoughts, worries, and doubts. Avoid distractions and persuasive speech. Remember, anything that takes your attention away from spending time with God is a problem. He will not compete for your attention. Therefore, protect your gates and choose your friends wisely.
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2 NIV).
Jesus explicitly told us not to store earthly treasures. “For wherever your treasure is there, your heart will be” (Matt. 6:21). Money or mammon as a master opposes God. These things hinder our capacity to hear or receive from God.
The lust for wealth is an obstacle to living a fully surrendered life. The love of money, jewelry, clothing, cars, fame, etc., can become idols. Spending more time thinking about things can hinder us from knowing God’s will. Therefore, all things should be forsaken when the Lord calls us to serve Him.
Having things is not a sin, but obsessing with acquiring and caring for things can consume a person. Putting other things before God displeases Him. Simply stated, this is idolatry. If we attempt to serve two masters, we will have divided loyalties, robbing us of our peace. Jesus gave his life so that we can choose to live life peacefully.
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Photos provided by Pinterest; *Google Images.
5 thoughts on “Who Do You Serve?”
This message is exceptional. Straight forward for readers to understand without complexity. So many need to be reminded God is alive and with us. So many don’t take time to listen and hear the birds. So many are idolizing symbols and things no knowing every person has heard of God, knows about God but because of their sins they run. Knowing that God prepared for us on earth with our sins.
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Thanks for your comment. There is such uncertainty in the world right now, and it is vital that we connect with God to know the plans He has for us (Jere.29:11). Otherwise, we are walking aimlessly without a purpose or knowing God’s will. Let’s continue to pray for the lost, Sis.
Thanks Jeanie, yes God’s word is so true and enriching! Very thorough blog with old and new Testament too.
Thanks for your testimony and your spiritual eyes on the birds, you found beauty, rest, peace and His table. I hope you received full recovery.
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You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment and for reading this article. I’m glad that you were enriched by it. Yes, I have fully recovered and God’s plan was very rewarded.
Hey There Rev. Jeanie! There’s a Praise Party going on with Your Name on It! Come on over💃🏽 https://carenrcinesl.wordpress.com/2022/08/13/more-solution-saturday-3/