I remember back in the late 70’s when Bob Dylan converted and came out with his first (and only) Christian album with the song, ‘Serve Somebody.’ The lyrics went something like:
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Now, maybe Bob Dylan should not be taken as a voice of Christian authority, although he did show some wisdom when he wrote that song! “You’re gonna have to serve SOMEBODY!’ We might think of ourselves as being independent but the truth is we are not capable of being the Lone Ranger, we all serve one of two masters.
Jesus said in Luke 16:13, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
THERE ARE TWO MASTERS, TWO PLANS FOR YOU!
We’ve all heard it said that God has a plan for your life, and that is comforting and true. All the people around you, God has a plan for THEM also. Just as God has plans for you, He has plans for your family, your co-workers, your friends, even your enemies. It’s easy to feel good and be happy about the thought that God has a GOOD plan for all of us, but we should also be aware that the devil has a plan for us all as well.
When Simon Peter begins to tell Jesus how he would follow him anywhere and that he would never deny Him, Jesus responded; “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.( Luke 22:31)
The ‘Sifting of Wheat’ process isn’t anything a human would ever want to endure for themselves! The first step in process of sifting wheat is to loosen the chaff from the edible grain, which is called threshing. The old fashioned way to do this was to spread the wheat onto a floor made from stone, concrete or tamped earth and to beat it with a flail. If you don’t know what a flail is, I can only tell you that it was also used as weapon for brutal warfare
The next step is called ‘winnowing,’ where the loosened chaff is removed from the grain. In Peter’s day they did this by throwing the grain in the air, where the lighter chaff would be blown off by a breeze. The heavier grains would fall back to the ground below. After the sifting process, only the pure true wheat remained. Everything else was separated! This ‘Sifting ‘ process continues to be played out in Christian lives and in the church DAILY!
WE HAVE FOUR ACTIVE FORCES DECIDING OUR DESTINY!
FIRST FORCE, We have GOD: He has a good plan. All the details of Gods plan are good! His Word tells us He wants to bring us a “Rich and satisfying life” In order for His good purpose to play out in our lives, we have a few obligations that we must take upon ourselves in order to bring Gods blessing to pass. Most every aspect of our destiny depends on our own willingness to follow the explicitly detailed guidelines in Gods Word and make the right choices. Why is this so hard for us to understand?
If you want to be a Doctor, you know that the option for you to accomplish that is open to you. You understand that you would go to medical school, do the training, and follow the guidelines that are in place to be a doctor. The same is true with all career choices. You don’t reach your goals without following certain guidelines and seeking the proper training .You also understand that you will face obstacles along the way that you will need to overcome. While it is true that God has a perfect plan for your life, He can only make the resources available for you, so you can take advantage of His resources, and reach your God-planned destiny.
Still you MUST make the right choices!
God’s plans for you can be derailed by your disobedience and bad choices. Look at the story of Saul. God chose Saul and gave him a bright future, but King Saul messed it up. He messed it up so badly that in the end, we read the God was ‘sorry that He chose Saul!’
SECOND FORCE, is Satan; he has a plan for you also. The Bible says he is a thief, and he comes to ‘steal, kill, and destroy’ you, but Satan can’t do this on his own! If he had the ability, he would sweep across this land in one night and murder every man, woman, boy, and girl but he does not have that power. Every plan he has for you is full of sorrow and brokenness. In order to destroy YOU he needs to enlist the help of…. YOU!
THIRD FORCE is the INFLUENCE of OTHER PEOPLE!
God knows how important the influence of others is and so does Satan! God consistently seeks out people to come to you and speak His message of love and hope. He speaks to the song writers to write songs, KNOWING you will turn the radio on and hear and LISTEN to His message to YOU!
Every Sunday morning across the world, Ministers stand behind the pulpit and bring you a message of encouragement from the throne of God. I know this is a serious thing for me, because it is God’s way of reaching out to you and keeping you safe and on the right path for His Blessings! I am certain that most pastors honestly seek God before they speak to the congregation, because we understand the seriousness of our position, to bring a CURRENT Word from the Lord. Then there are the many people you cross paths with every day.
As a Christian, we should always remember that we are a constant influence to others. Jesus said we are to be the ‘Light of the world and salt of the earth. How well do you use your opportunity to influence others? Do you influence them in a positive or a negative way? I can assure you that in each contact with others, you will influence them one way or the other, as they influence you.
THE FORTH FORCE DECIDING YOUR DESTINY: YOU!
Life brings serious choices to you and lays them at your feet for YOU to decide what to do with them! The way you decide these choices have a direct impact on the course of your destiny. You can’t continually make bad choices and still hope to reach the great destiny that God has planned for you! You can’t reap that ‘Rich & Satisfying life’ if you continually make bad choices.
ON THE OTHER HAND, the enemy can’t deliver his bad intentions to you if you are standing firm in your faith and rejecting his plan! Resist him and he will fold up his plans and for you and go away!
In this battle of GOOD and EVIL, the struggle between the forces is constant, and you have the power to choose the winner. You can’t stay out of this fight because, as with Peter and the others, Satan desires to sift YOU as wheat! You can be the victor, or the victim, it is ultimately up to you!
The devil will find always someone to speak his mind to you. Shut one mouth and he’ll find another. Our responsibility is to recognize the voice of Satan, even when he is speaking through the mouth of our friendly neighbors, stand up and say ‘Get thee BEHIND me!’ Know the Word, and dwell on the good things of God. YOU are the greatest influence in your own life. Put your finger in your own chest and say, “I am a person of Great Influence!”
Remember that you are also a great influence on those around you. Don’t blow the opportunity! (1Timothy 4:12) ‘……….Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.’ You are a voice of one or the other of the two active forces (God or Satan) in others! Your words bring life, and they bring death!
God has a great plan for your life! It doesn’t matter where you are or where you have been, He still wants you to live the good life He planned for you. Don’t allow the enemy to replace Gods plan with his own. The choice is yours!