Before you get too tired of “God bossing you around,” please consider the only other option you have. I understand no one really likes to be told what to do. Even people with a “retriever” personality have a limit, but the reality is that we will always have someone bossing us around. There will always be policemen, government, and other authorities. No one is truly free to do whatever he or she wants. Even as a dad, my little girls “tell” me when to change their diapers. I honestly don’t “want” to change them every time but their need and their crying boss me around.
In every day life this scenario happens all the time, even a man who owns his own business has customers, bankers, and accountants bossing him around. The funny thing is we don’t typically think about it this way in the normal operations of life. However, in the spiritual realm, you might feel controlled or bossed around by the Bible or church. When we sense this attitude creeping into our heart, we must remember that in spiritual/moral arenas, someone or something will always be telling us what to do. Paul explained it to the Roman Christians this way:
Romans 6:16 asks this question, Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
This question reminds us of the following truths:
- We will always serve something
- Our master is who ever we yield to.
- Being the servant of sin leads to death.
- Being the servant of the Savior leads to righteousness and eternal life.
You see we will always be “bossed around,” but if we know Christ as our Savior, we get to choose who we serve. Before we are saved there is no choice-we serve sin, death, and Satan. Romans 6:6-7 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.” You see, God is not constraining or bossy. His free gift of salvation gives us a choice to serve life, righteousness, holiness, and God. He makes us alive spiritually (Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;), and we have only God to thank for that (Romans 6:17-18 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness).
Our choice is so important because we can only choose one and each boss produces extremely different results. Let’s take a look.
- When we serve sin, it produces death. Romans 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
At first, serving sin feels like you are calling all the shots as you shout like a pirate who has just seized a cargo ship, “I’m the captain now.” The consequences are unnoticeable, harmless, and innocent. The rush of rebellion seems liberating. You feel like a kid in a candy store, but sooner or later you will have to go to sleep and in the silence of your own heart, you want out, but you are trapped and you can’t seem to find the exit. Slowly your relationship with God withers to nothing. You begin to watch your relationships die, and instead of living in control you start to feel like you have lost control. You are now in bondage to an addiction of drugs, alcohol, sex, selfishness, negative thoughts, video games, television, entertainment, the pursuit of riches, and the list could go on and on. The old truth strikes again-sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. You are being bossed around by sin, and the result of serving sin is death, addiction, loneliness, a broken heart, broken relationships, divorce, depression, suicide, etc.
- When you serve God, it produces holiness and eternal life. Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
If you have to choose a boss, may I recommend God? Already his gift of salvation has given you eternal life, freedom from hell, death, and sin. He has more than proven that He is here to give you something not take anything from you. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. When we serve God it produces holiness, and it is the greatest promotion a person could ever receive. Imagine working a grungy job where you were never recognized, rewarded or given a raise, not only that but you didn’t even want to be there. You were trapped and imprisoned against your will. I guess it would be similar to the story of Cinderella. The only difference is her rise to royalty was because she fit the glass slipper. Our rise from slavery to serving the King is all by his grace. When we choose to serve him it produces holiness/sanctification which is the spiritual process of being set apart to be used in special ways for God’s service all the while becoming more like God. Our text ends by stating that this process culminates in eternal life. This doesn’t mean my yielding to serve God earns my eternal life, but it does mean that when God saves me I can serve him in ways that I’ll be rewarded for now and in eternity. Serving God produces rewards of eternal value not just temporal pleasure.
This type of servitude in the Bible is referred to as a bondservant. A bondservant, in this context, is someone who has been freed by his master but then chooses to stay and voluntarily serve his master. In most cases this was done because the servant loved the master and enjoyed the benefits, blessings, and protection of his leadership. This is in part what Jesus was offering when he said in Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. As the willing bond-servant of God, we produced wonderful fruit in our lives, and everyday we get one step closer to the full realization of eternal life, which we already possess but presently enjoy only in part.
The closing verse reminds us that if we choose to serve sin our “wages is death” (separation from real living, separation in my fellowship with God, and separation from all the things that give this life purpose and meaning.) You see, being employed by sin doesn’t pay well. It doesn’t come close to the benefits package that God has to offer. If we understand what’s at stake, you might just decide to talk to God and ask him to “boss you around” because you realize the he is our only good choice.
Do you have any experience that demonstrate that Jesus is the best Master of your life?