Our Double Bind

I'm amazed how a somewhat obscure Scripture will catch my attention, as the Lord begins speaking to my heart. It's often subtle and easy to glide past, until the Lord begins adding insight to it. I was reading through Zephaniah in my daily devo's and thinking about all the imagery and somewhat obscure reference to historical events. They're obscure unless you're an ancient history buff, which I'm not.

In the wake of Christmas celebrations and end of the year news re-caps, I came across Zeph 1:5-6– "...those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom." What caught my attention is how revealing it is of human nature—not just unbelievers, so much as believers. Many of us get caught in a double bind, one Jesus addressed in Matt 6:24, about trying to serve two masters. Nowadays we call it being distracted, but it's more like being "torn between two lovers." For example, doing something on a smart phone while listening to someone. Sound familiar?

But this is no modern day dilemma, although there are plenty of cases made for that point of view. This double bind has existed since the fateful bite into the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 3:4-7). There are all sorts of self-help books addressing this dilemma, but most miss the greater concern. They tend to address the symptoms rather than the root cause.

Our infatuation with the things of this world naturally turn our hearts away from the Lord. None of us are immune to it. It is a daily challenge, sometimes hour by hour. It will remain a continuing battle up to the day we (who are believers) see Jesus face to face. Until then, the battle rages on and we cannot control it. All efforts at attempting to control it will fail. It cannot be controlled through will power. Oh for awhile perhaps, but it can't be sustained, nor is it what the Lord would have us do. What do you struggle with now? Over and over again?

There is only one solution—surrender! Not surrendering to the battle, or to the struggle itself (which many do). But surrender within the midst of it—surrendering our will to Jesus, the only One we can implicitly trust. In the midst of His own torturous struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane, He shows us what to do—He surrenders His will to the Father. Jesus, our supreme example, shows us the way. Can we really hope to do better?