Who or what is at the center of your life?

I love being a pastor mainly for the variety of things this position allows me to be involved in. For those of you who do not know me, I get bored of the same thing over and over and over again, quickly. You might be thinking, and rightfully so, “doesn’t preaching get boring?” It does not, for the simple reason that each new week is an adventure into God’s word.

Working with people is similar. No two people are precisely the same. Sure there are similarities, but the variety is astounding and refreshing. Yet, despite this variety, the word of God is relevant to every one of us. There is no time when the word fails. So, as I sit in a counseling session and hear a person’s unique story, the same word is relevant in their situation regardless of the myriad diversities that make up the human condition. Our God and His word are truly marvelous.

Consider this passage written by the apostle Paul to the Corinthians church 2000 years ago, “All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12

In the broader context, Paul had listed several sins that the Corinthians had committed before they were “washed” and “sanctified.” Paul is now addressing the elephant in the room, “if we are free because of what Christ has accomplished, what are we free to do.” “All things,” comes the answer, but there is a qualifier. And this is where we get to the brilliance of the Bible and its Author, the Holy Spirit.

As people, most of us want to know what is expected of us. When Holly and I were newly married, I wanted to know what she expected me to have done to play a video game I was into, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, for those who are interested. And by doing what I thought she wanted, I figured I was fine to play my game, which by the way, I was obsessed with. You could rightfully say that the game mastered me for a time; it became the center of my world; I’m not proud of it. As a result, my obsession was damaging my relationship with my wife and, if I am honest, God as well.

We, as believers, are indeed free. Christ accomplished this on the cross and through His victory, bursting forth from the grave. But the question comes, “do we have unfettered freedom?” No, we do not. Paul qualifies it at the end of his verse, “I will not be mastered by anything.” Yet, most of us are mastered by something that has replaced He, who should be our first love. These masters take many forms. Sometimes they are people, many times they are things.

What if anything is mastering you today, Christian? What consumes your thoughts? What do you long for? What “must” you have? What are you obsessed with? If you are honest with yourself, does that thing bring you closer to God, or has it replaced Him. Does it bring glory to the Kingdom? Does it aid in accomplishing our purpose, to Love God and Love people, or does it distract? Does it help in the Mission, Live the Truth, Love the Lost, and make disciples regardless of the cost, or does it take you off mission?

We have incredible freedom, but this freedom does not exempt us from fulfilling what we have been called to. What we have been called to requires power, strength, and courage beyond ourselves, which is only found when we have our Savior in His proper place, at the center of our lives. If you find yourself master by anything today, lay that thing at His feet, confess your sin which He is faithful, and just to forgive and return Him to the center of your world where He belongs.