Such a powerful word.
A word that conjurs up thoughts of things like the creepy man in the movie obsessed with the girl he cannot have.
Images of the creepy girl that becomes a stalker to someone she has an imaginary crush on.
Images of evil men obsessed with obtaining a treasure at any cost...
Yes, generally speaking, obsession is a powerful word with negative connotations.
Often the wicked are portrayed as being driven in this way, while the good are portrayed as the typical saint fighting against the obsession of those who are evil...
But seldom does obsession get it's true face shown in the light.
Here is the reality: Many of us would not consider ourselves to be the wicked man or the creepy girl that cannot let go of those things that haunt our thoughts to the point of madness.
We would aquaint ourselves with those that are the force of good, fighting against such things.
But if we are to be honest, truly honest...
Looking deep in our eyes, staring into the abyss of our soul...
There it is, the truth- we all have suffered from obsession of some kind.
Some are hooked into it more than others.
It is manifested plainly in the lives of some, while others are able to hide it away in their closet.
But when we truly open our eyes, there it is- staring at us with those haunting, driven eyes; that unquenchable thirst that leaves us dry no matter how much we drink...
Jesus said plainly in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot serve two masters; that we will hate the one and love the other, or we will hold to one and despise the other...
Most of us know the remainder of that verse, where Jesus states that we cannot serve God and money.
Many of us would pride ourselves, as Christians, at the ability to say that we do not serve money; thus we believe we are in the "safe" zone when it comes to this scripture.
But I think that many of us miss what Jesus was actually saying here.
Before we can give ourselves a passing grade, I think we should examine what exactly it is the Lord was saying.
The first question we should ask is, why can we not serve God and money? Because a man cannot serve two masters, you may say.
But why can a man not serve two masters? Because you will love one and hate the other.
The answer lies here: That to truly serve a master you must focus your efforts.
You must surrender your will to that master.
You must love and hold to that master.
You must come to a point that you are not satisfied with just getting by, or doing as little as possible- because it is not enough for you.
To truly serve a master means that, no matter what you do, you still thirst for him.
There is not enough you can do to quench that desire to please him.
You serve him, and him alone.
Anything else in your life that requires time away from master will bother you, irritate you, aggravate you.
You cannot serve two masters because, to put it bluntly, you will be obsessed with one, and hate the other.
I find Christians- including myself- interesting sometimes.
We say that God is our Master.
We say that we love Him.
We say that we follow Him.
We even have songs that we sing about laying it all down to follow Him.
Yet I wonder how many times in our life we actually serve Him? So often, we as Christians- and I must be honest and include myself- become obsessed with something, surrendering to it, serving it- and often times it is not the Master we profess to serve...
We get so wrapped up in our schedule that we fail to take time out for even a small devotion.
We say a hurried prayer in our car, perhaps a brief "blessing" over our food.
We be sure to listen to Christian music.
We refuse to laugh, even looking scornfully, at our fellow co-workers when they tell innapropriate "jokes".
We surround ourselves with Christain bumper stickers, t-shirts, and wall posters instead of surrounding ourselves with the Word of God.
We indulge ourselves in gossip instead of the Scriptures.
And we obsess.
We obsess over those t.
shows we just can't live without watching.
we obsess with the latest fashion trend.
We obsess with other people's problems (I am not meaning helping others with their problems, but rather discussing their problems with everyone but them).
We obsess with money, with popularity, with anything and everything except- except the one that we say is our master.
How can this be? How is it that we profess Jesus yet only give Him a mere 10 minutes a day? Is that serving Him as our master? I tell you from personnal experience, that too often we sit around wondering what exactly it is that God wants from us in our life, too often we question what His will is, too often we cannot see the path we are to tread because our vision is so clouded.
But the reality is our vision is often clouded because we are too busy serving another master, only giving Jesus a courteous nod, and then wondering why He isn't showing us the way.
Let me tell you this: If what you are focusing on takes your eyes off of Jesus, then you are obsessing on something that is competing with Jesus for lordship in your life.
But rather, what should be happening is that we should be so obsessed with Jesus that no other master has any appeal.
I am not saying that it is an easy task.
It is in our nature to serve gluttony.
It is in our nature to serve gossip.
It is in our nature to serve lust, apathy, self, or any number of selfish sinful gods.
It is called the sin nature.
It will forever compete.
But we must take the words of Christ seriously when He says "You CANNOT serve two masters.
" We must agree with Paul who wrote in Romans 6:1 "What shall we say then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!" We MUST become so obsessed with Jesus that any love we may have for the other master will be choked out and put to death.
Let me end with this: Who do you serve? Do you love God and hate gossip? Do you hold to Jesus and despise lust? Do you obsess over serving Christ and become repulsed at serving yourself? Think about it.
If Christ is not your master, your obsession, then kill the one who would sway you so that you might agree with Paul again when he wrote in Romans 6:6, "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.
" So- who is YOUR master? Live like you mean it!!!