Daily Devotional – Thursday, April 8, 2021
“You are a slave to whatever controls you.” (2 Peter 2:19b, NLT)
I was reminded again recently of the Christ-follower’s need to submit every area of life over to his Lordship. Why? Because whatever we haven’t given to him remains an area in which the enemy can work. God has promised to keep secure that which we entrust him with, but what of those things we refuse to let go of? Withholding anything from God puts us in jeopardy.
In Peter’s second letter, he warned his readers from being deceived by false teachers into returning to a life of disobedience to God. I know there is a long-standing debate in religious circles concerning whether or not a Christ-follower can ‘lose’ their faith. I believe that our relationship with Christ is not something you can lose, but it is certainly something you can choose to turn away from. Why else would Peter continue his warning, “And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life” (2 Peter 2:20-21)?
James’ encouragement would appear to back this thought up, “Submit yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world” (James 4:7-8). And isn’t that really the issue? Divided loyalty. We want what God has to offer, but are unwilling to live without the things we enjoyed before coming to know God. Peter puts it bluntly, “They prove the truth of this proverb: ‘A dog returns to its vomit.’ And another says, ‘A washed pig returns to the mud’” (2 Peter 2:22). Though true, neither analogy is appealing. But the question remains: do they apply?
As Christ-followers we need to take our allegiance to God seriously. Have we fully submitted to his Lordship, or do we hold back areas of our life from his transformative work? Are we resisting the devil, or attempting to walk the dangerous line of trying to gain advantages from both God and the world. If you’re one who is trying to juggle loyalties, Paul has a strong warning, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7). We must give up the notion that we can ‘dabble’ in a relationship with God. We are called to be loyal to Jesus alone. He will not tolerate divided allegiances. Everything we are and everything we have must belong to him or we put ourselves in jeopardy, not only in the here and now, but also in the hereafter.
Peter, James and Paul all agree…it’s to be all or nothing.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!