Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 ESV)
Every day we present ourselves—either to God or to Satan, either to the Spirit or to our flesh, either to the ministry of the Church or the ways of the world.
Obedience results in slavery.
Maybe you struggle with this statement. Let me ask you a question. How many of you thought about how to put on your shoes this morning? How many of you actually thought about the way you brush your teeth? You didn’t. You’ve done it for years. It is, as we say, “second nature.”
So what happens? Before you come to know Christ, you have habits—bad habits—that you already practiced. In some cases, God immediately frees people from those habits. For others, freedom is a process. Healing doesn’t take place over night. That old habit still wants to be your master. You still find yourself waking up with a bad attitude. You lose your temper with small things. You still think lustful thoughts. “Why is this happening?” you may think. “What is going on inside me? I thought God changed my life. I gave my heart to Christ, yet I still struggle.”
The question is, “To whom or what do you present yourself.”To present is to hand oneself over, to surrender oneself. If slavery is not optional, if you are going to be slaves of the one you obey, the problem comes when what you obey is the sinful desires that dominated your life before you came to Christ. Did you present yourself to God or to your old habits today? Did you offer your body to God for His service or did you give Satan an opportunity to establish a stronghold in your life?
Whoever you obey becomes your master.