Throughout the Gospels Jesus was often called “Master”, meaning Lord, teacher and leader.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” – be it God or money, good or evil as there will be a conflict of interest and loyalty (Mt 6:24). Who or what is the boss in my life? We become a slave to whatever we give ourselves to, that which we allow the power to be master over us (Rom 6:16-22, 7:15-25; 2 Pet 2:19). Jesus said, "Everyone who sins is a slave [has been mastered by] to sin" (Jn 8:24). What is the motivating force, drive or goal behind what we do? Is it God given or does it spring from our own desires or from evil sources? Subtle pressures can captivate our minds turning habits into harmful addictions. Paul said, “I will not be mastered by anything” but kept a close watch all he did (1 Cor 6:12, 9:27).
The two masters
Satan promises much, but doesn't deliver. Through deception (beginning in the Garden of Eden) he snares and enslaves people as a ruthless tyrant whose motivation is to "steal, kill and destroy" with the ultimate outworking called eternal damnation (Gen 3:1-7; Jn 10:10; 1 Pet 5:8). Those who claim to be their own boss are in reality under Satan's control.
Jesus, is the complete opposite, saying we can't even comprehend the glorious future that awaits His children for He came to bring us life in abundance and freedom from all the devils works (Jn 8:36; 1 Cor 2:9; 1 Jn 3:8). Christ states we are to take up our cross (that which brings about the death of our fleshly nature) yet as He is indebted to no one the reward for walking with Him will be immense, culminating in eternal life (1 Sam 2:30; Mt 10:38,39; 1 Jn 2:14, 5:5; Rev 3:5,12).
Because of our sinful default setting all humanity is born into Satan's realm. To opt out of that hell bound consequence, individually we must repent of our sin and choose to receive the gracious offer of salvation available in Jesus and now live by the terms of His Kingdom (Rom 6:17).
Which is my choice?
claim of Jesus on His followers is exclusive, we can't serve Him on our terms. These opposing masters demand different things and lead down different paths with vastly different outcomes. The Lord is headed in one direction, and our flesh and the world are headed in the other. A choice must be made (Josh 24:15). Ensure you have the long-term perspective on this vital decision.
See also: addictions, control, habits, idol/idolatry, Lord/Lordship, materialism, power, slave, submission.