No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
You Cannot Sail Under Two Flags
The flag of a ship is the identifying mark of its allegiance. When a ship is commissioned it must be registered with documentation of the nationality of the country of certification. It does not require the country of its origin to be the flag that it bears as in modern times many ships are built in one country and registered in other countries. These documentations can change hands numerous times over the life of the ship. What is clear is that only one flag can be attached to a ship at a time. Flying more than one flag shows deception and falsehood. The flag identifies the allegiance of the ship to a certain nationality and is placed in a place of prominence so that everyone that looks upon the ship will know immediately to whom the ship belongs. Pirates used the ruse of flying a common flag to lure victims close before striking their own colors. For a moment the intended ship was tricked to believe the ship was friendly when all the while it was a ship of lawlessness and deceit.
Jesus declared the meaning of allegiance when He taught His disciple that no man could serve two masters. There are only two avenues a man can walk and he must choose one over the other. In the world, there are no fences to straddle because no fences exist. A man can’t sit on the fence of indecision when it comes to his relationship with God. Either he is for God and is willing to serve the Lord or he is not. Often, the ploy of hypocrisy is to attempt to fly two flags on the same ship and that is not possible. The interest of serving the world is not compatible with the righteousness of serving God. They are in stark contrast to one another. While the carnal desires of the flesh desire to engage in the freedom of self, the constraints of the will of God forbid the unchecked passions of the heart. The flesh and spirit are at war with one another because they are so opposed to one another. It is impossible to serve the carnal appetites and receive the blessings of the spiritual. No man can serve two masters.
God created man and has the propriety of lordship over the will of man. As the potter has power over the clay, so the Lord forms man from the dust of the ground and breathes into him the breath of life. Everything man possesses and everything man is belongs to God. The dominion of the world has been granted to humanity but only because the will of the Creator ordains such authority. Man’s habitation is restricted by the hand of God. There are things the human frame will never be able to attain. In the early days, men of the world men could live for hundreds of years but they died. Man is restricted to the world he lives because the Creator will not allow man to journey through the universe unchecked. There are no worlds man can live but the planet earth as this is his domain. Man was not created to live under the seas and while he may temporarily journey to the watery underworld his existence is on the land. All of this suggests there is one God and he demands respect as Creator. As the Maker of all humanity, God demands His creation to give Him honor and fidelity.
No one can serve two masters and the problem with the spirit of man has always been his attempt to serve God and to serve the mammon of the world. Sin will always bring about misery and heartache because it is not the plan of God. Human wisdom constantly tries to outsmart the will of the Lord. That is like falling out of an airplane without a parachute and denying there is a law of gravity. Denying God’s will does not change God’s will. Trying to serve God and serve the flesh will not change the consequence. One will bring joy and happiness and the other destruction and damnation. This is experienced in life when the works of the flesh destroy the character of a man and then when eternity awakes in the soul, eternal suffering is the reward. Living for the will of God is profitable in this life and the life to come. When the heart of man follows the divine plan of the Creator for His creation, good things happen because of the love of God.
There is a need to have singleness of heart in serving God. Too many of God’s people try to have one foot in the kingdom of God and the other in the world. In reality, both feet are firmly planted in the world because it is impossible to serve God and serve the desires of the world. When a man firmly places his life in the hands of God, the world will not be his master. His love will be for God. Whose flag are you flying? The world will know whose allegiance you have when they look at your life. More important – God sees whose flag you fly.