Who You Gonna’Serve?

Who You Gonna’ Serve?

by Jane Tawel

February 20, 2016

 

These days there is a lot of discussion about the religion of Mohammad. My alma mater is buzzing about whether Muslims do in fact worship the same God that Jews and Christians worship.  I find this hilarious in some equally sad ways, since if you study the history of any of these religions but especially of the founder of Islam, Mohammad, then you get a pretty clear idea that they don’t really want to claim that they worship the same God– unless it works in their favor. Human nature, of course. That’s why these three religions fight each other. But if you step away from religion and try to find God or true Truth, then you can look not only outside yourself but inside your own soul. It is helpful to read Jesus’ words to both the Pharisees and the pagans. It might be helpful to read stories about people who just wanted to get into a closer relationship with Elohim, genus God, Creator, and YHWH, the God of his chosen people, and Jesus, only begotten Son of God. Motivation matters. It really does. Just ask the Holy Spirit. LOL.

See here’s the thing. As I read through the Bible, study theology, pray, worship, fellowship, I ask myself frankly: Do most people who claim Christianity worship the “One True God”? Do I ???? One of the  most sobering stories in the New Testament is the one Jesus tells about  judgment day  when God says to those who claimed His name, “I never knew you.”

Matthew 7: 21 – 23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

The will of the Father. You have to know the Father, to know His will. From the story of Eden, to the Song of Solomon to the parables of Jesus about the bride and bridegroom, humans are called, nay, required to be in intimate relationship with the One True God. We were created to function best in intimate worshipful relationship to our Creator. Verse after verse in the revealed Holy Word of the Only God states over and over, “there is no one like our God”. Jeremiah, Psalms, Philippians, the words of Jesus who says, “I come to do the will of the Father.”  Jacob wrestles with God, Moses communes for weeks on a mountain with God, Mary magnifies God, Jesus goes away again and again from  everyone to be with His Father. The word “know” in scripture is often the same word for sexual intercourse.  To know someone as completely as you possibly can. To be one with them — one body, one mind, one heart, one soul. To know – to be obsessed — to know is to truly love and worship One God. Imagine — a God that wants to be known. A God that wants to know me but leaves it up to me to decide — do I want to walk in the Garden daily with God, knowing Him better and better, more intimately than I know myself?

As the famous sermon by S.M. Lockridge asks, “Do you know Him?”

Bonhoeffer warned us quite a while ago about the dangers of cheap grace and like a Walmart economy where the rich get richer and poor poorer, we have so cheapened the value of our eternal souls that it is no wonder we want to offer others the cheap love we have settled for.   The cheap grace.The cheap me. The cheap god.

Since The Fall we have refused to understand that the Accuser will use the good things of God, like our poor understanding of love, to convince us that pride is not a sin. The question is: Who is on the throne of my life? Christ wants to be more than our buddy, He wants to be our King. He is the King who came to redeem the world from evil and death because only God could do it.  Ephesians 6: 12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  As another great prophet whose name in this world, is Bob Dylan, sang, “You gonna’ have to serve somebody.”  Who you gonna’ serve?

We live in a world that believes in the power of the individual and that you can accomplish any dream you want to accomplish and that you deserve to feel good because you are you.  This load of lies has infected the world with the worst disease there is, a disease of false pride and lies about the way the world really works, and this disease of pride and sin always leads to death — the eternal death of the soul.  Only one God can save us. The God of the Bible, the God of His Chosen People, the God of Jesus. Do you know Him? Do you know His dreams for you and for His world? Do I long more than any thing for others, no matter who or where, to know the love and salvation of my God?

Do you know the God– as best we can ever know Him this side of the veil– that is revealed through The only Holy Scriptures and the Only Holy Son? Period. End stop. Either Christ is at the center — Israel –Christ– The Church — all circles flowing out, concentric, joined, ever widening circles from the Center, “the way the Truth and the light” — joined with God come to earth to His people in YHWH , in Christ — either at the center of my life or He is not. Each minute of my life is in fact a challenge to “Day by day.. see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow him more nearly. Day by day.”(Godspell) Lord have mercy, on me a sinner.

When all is said and done, it is not what I call myself, it is what I call Him. Do I call Him King of the Universe? King of my life? Savior. Lord. I Am.

Someday He will come to judge the living and the dead, and all nations shall bow at His feet. He will know –no matter how falsely  we judged each other– whether we in fact knew and served Him  in the truth revealed to us. We will enter a new creation or not — beginning now, fulfilled at the end of time– and  no matter how we come to hear about Him, we are only redeemed by whether or not we know Him and He knows us. If you are a visual learner, regard Calvary and the blood that was shed for us.

For a great historical  and theological paradigm shift on this, read as I am, N.T. Wright’s Simply Jesus. Studying history  as objectively as possible through the lens of the Judeo -Christian worldview, can help quite a lot too with looking truth in the face. Jesus was pretty clear about who He was and what He came to do, to “those who had / have ears” to hear. We must unashamedly know what we believe and then ask daily and humbly as the great saints have and as Frances Schaeffer famously quipped, “How shall we then live?” No matter how rich, how powerful, how humble, how needy, how religious you are, you’re gonna’ serve somebody.  Don’t leave it til the End, to figure out who you really serve. And on a happy note — I have found today gets a lot better and clearer and more peaceful and joyful, if I with extreme humility, try to serve the One True God in some faltering way, step by step starting here, starting now. Today is a great day to serve the One True Somebody. Become a Nobody in the One Body –given for us, alive in us.

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
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.

Might be a rock’n’ roll adict prancing on the stage
Might have money and drugs at your commands, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord you might even own banks.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
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.

You may call me Terry, you may call me Jimmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything but no matter what you say.

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

 

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2 thoughts on “Who You Gonna’Serve?”

  1. I think that’s the scariest verse in the Bible, “I did all sorts of stuff for you, Lord!” “Begone, I never knew you.” Did you write the poem at the end? Excellent. As always, Jane, thoughtful and convicting.

    Like

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