God designed us to serve Him. Even in a state of unbelief, of rejecting the Lord, we will begin to form "gods" with our own hands and bow down to worship them. This is our default. Due to our drive toward worship and service, we all end up serving someone. The question hovering over all of our lives is, "Whom will you choose to serve?"
Often, in the Bible, God engages our will on this question. Before he died, Joshua cried out, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). Elijah cried out on Mount Carmel, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). In the New Testament, Paul speaks of our choice to be either slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:19). It is not a question of whether we will serve but whom we will serve, and the answer to this question will mean for us either eternal torment or eternal joy. Some try to be free from serving anyone or anything, only to become the dutiful slaves of their own desires. The end result is the same: they “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator," only in this case the "creature" was themselves (Romans 1:25). But when someone comes to Christ, one of the first revelations is, “I was created to serve You.” This purpose is embraced as a joy and an honor, because of the goodness of our loving Master.
If our master is sin, or self, or an idol, or anything other than Christ, we are like the Israelite slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians “made their lives bitter with hard bondage…All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor” (Exodus 1:14). Sin is a harsh master. Of course, there is an attractive bait attached, but the promise of invigorating freedom eventually yields exhausting bondage; the appearance of sweetness, after some time, proves to make our lives bitter. Slavery became harder for the Israelites right when God was raising up Moses. Years later, when Moses is sent to lead them out, their bondage gets even worse. When God’s compassion moves Him to bring deliverance, He will often cause us to feel more than ever the bitterness of slavery. We ought to praise God if we can see sin for what it is: bitter bondage. After all, one of the enemy’s deadliest tricks is to make the prison cell look like a party room.
If we see the obsessed and addicted suddenly becoming depressed and afflicted, we ought to pray that God will draw them to turn their eyes upon Jesus. We should seek opportunities to boast in Christ, to demonstrate the joy we have in serving the God who made us and loves us. This is the only service, the only slavery, that makes the heart completely free!
The Rock Church