Many years ago I worked for a company in another city. It was a great company with good pay. Many of the employees there were occasionally called out after hours to repair things and so we also made overtime pay on top of a good salary. One employee there who worked third shift was also known to be moonlighting. As a young man, someone had to explain to me what that was. A coworker explained that it meant he worked a second job besides his full time job with our company.
The position he held was one of a control operator where he monitored the gas pipeline system. During the night, while all of us slept he was there to make sure the pressures were maintained. Then, when the world woke up and cooked breakfast, took showers and turned the heat up there would be no problems. Working multiple jobs does indeed make you more money. Many people have to do this to make ends meet in today’s economy. The problem with it is there is very little time to rest or do anything else.
The employee eventually took on a third job. A friend of mine once told me that a man can only work three jobs if he sleeps on one. One morning, when the first shift arrived the gate did not open. The supervisor called the operator on the radio and got no response. H climbed the fence and unlocked the door. On the inside was a second door latched from the inside and through the window he saw the operator lying still on the desk. Thinking that the operator was dead he broke through the door. When he shook him this man woke up. It seems that he had fallen asleep sometime aroundmidnightand slept through the night. Needless to say, there was an investigation! He had tried to work three eight hour jobs and sleep as he could.
For some reason God reminded me of that incident this week. I began thinking about how we stretch ourselves thin at times, thinking that we can do multiple things well. Not being fully dedicated to a company is a problem. When I hired on with the utility I work for now I agreed that I would not take on a second job. My job was to be my focus.
As we go through the day we sometimes catch ourselves thinking that we are multi-tasking and being more efficient. We believe that we can do more that way. Working this way is not only inefficient but it is also dangerous. The linemen that work at our company cannot have their minds somewhere else. There have been many people killed due to mental slippage. Driving is a good example of something that requires focus. The early automobiles were not the luxury automobiles we have now. They had open tops, manual transmissions and brakes, and no power steering. It required more thought to drive then. Today’s cars have comfortable interiors, entertainment such as satellite radio and MP3 players, GPS systems, vehicle monitor systems, etc. Then, we bring our cell phones with us and believe we have time to send email and check the weather while we drive. We all know of people who have had wrecks from distractions such as these.
It’s not just distractions that I am pondering today. It’s the lulling away of the pied-piper, that old wretch, Satan. We can be fooled into believing that he is not as bad as his reputation. The big lie is that we can straddle the fence and flip-flop to both sides to gain what works best for our lives at any given moment. God has blessings and protection but the devil has pleasures we think we will miss out on. We believe we can have the best of both worlds. In trying to do all we lose everything. The man who multitasks on the road to save time may be spending weeks in a hospital in recovery.
In Ephesians chapter five Paul wrote about the exclusivity of following Jesus. There is a sharp contrast here that he paints with distinct wording. First, he sates that we are to walk in love. Second, we are to expel works of unrighteousness. He lists some of the sins we battle in our flesh. These are not to even be said about us. When I was in high school I lived a clean life as a young Christian man. But, if someone started a rumor about me being daring or wild I would not have stopped them. Paul says to not be like that. It could be that you never sleep around but that you don’t mind people thinking that you do. You could be drug-free but think its “cool” for people to believe you get stoned. We are to live in a way that leaves no doubt that we are God’s children. We should never put on a charade to look like the world simply because we think we are saved and can get by with it. We cannot serve two masters.
Paul writes (v8) that we were once walking in darkness but now we walk in the light. When we give our heart to God through Jesus we must give all our heart to God. If a man takes a vow to marry a woman and believes he can live in a manner that is not one hundred percent dedicated to her, their marriage will fail. So many times I hear people say that marriage is fifty-fifty (meaning both people have to compromise halfway) and it makes me angry. Marriage is one hundred-one hundred; both spouses must give everything for it to work. Everything the man wanted before must be replaced with what he now wants including his wife. Everything she wanted before their marriage must be replaced with what they want together. They must be willing to lay down all individual desires for the collective desires of each other. Jesus deserves no less in His bride, the Church. He laid down His life and gave up His Kingdom.
Look at verse eleven. He said to not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Let’s stop and think about that for a moment. Fellowship implies being connected with more than acts. The word “fellowship” here means to “partake with others”. Paul means more than the acts of unrighteousness. We are not to have a connection with people who do not share the same standards that God gives us. There are many “Christians” today who have become believers in name only. They state that they are Christians to anyone who asks about their religion. Their actions speak a louder sermon, though.
I began my message talking about moonlighting. The poor employee I mentioned found out that working several jobs at the same time did not allow him to do his best at his main job. We need to realize that moonlighting with the devil will never work. You may have believed that you can get more out of your life by serving two employers but you never will. It would be like working for companies that compete with each other. God expects His people to be solely His. In Exodus 20:5 He said that He was a jealous God.
The devil’s tactics are always the same. It’s not hard to spot them. He speaks lies. John8:44says that Satan is the Father of Lies. Here, Jesus said that when he speaks he lies, because that is his native language. The devil will always lie to you. Second, he wants you to believe that everything God says isn’t true. Think about how he deceived Eve in the Garden. He asked her “Hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1). So many people get deceived by believing that something is really ok to do when God said it was not. We need to stop trying to find loopholes in scripture to get permission to do something our flesh wants. We need to begin living what the Holy Spirit tells us in our heart. God will guide us and never lead us astray. Serving two masters will be a struggle and we will never get rest.
Who is your Master today? Do you moonlight with the devil? Are you spending your time split between two kingdoms? Aren’t you exhausted from it? Friend, there is no greater peace than serving Jehovah with your whole being. When your life is totally in Him you never have to worry about anything. He is all you need. There is no need to go anywhere else. Won’t you give it all to Him today?
Prayer-Father-I am praying for those who read this message today and find that they have been working for the devil quite often. They may believe that they are committed to You but their lives tell a different story. I ask that You would wake them up and let them see their life as You see it. May they reach a place of serving you with every second of their lives.
In Jesus’ Name—Amen
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