Where and what is your true loyalty? What is it based on?
Thinking physically, have you or anyone you know been disloyal in their promises? Some have promised to be supportive or committed, perhaps as a friend or even a partner for life in marriage, then changed their mind, giving what they think is their loyalty to another person or persons after some years have gone by. This happens all too often in partnerships in business or even marriages today and many people fail miserably to live up to their commitments, wedding vows, etc; not remaining loyal to those commitments. (See Broken Vows for more on marriage commitments)This short article is about loyalty and what that really means for a true convert into Christianity and one baptized into the Body of Christ.
Many think they know what loyalty means but can never seem to really commit to it; not as close friends or business partners or in a marriage covenant relationship where God and Christ are witnesses! However our greatest Loyalty should be to God and His way of life first, not physical things or other people. There are many COG groups today that are not really loyal to God and whole hearted in the commission given them, having the true love for truth, the Gospel and all the called out ones, even though they should all be one Body, just like in a marriage. This also affects their members as it is a human tendency to follow our leaders. Now that is pretty bad when you really think about it, but Christ said “no one can serve two masters”—so looking at the physical; how can someone who is not loyal today in their friendships, marriage or other commitments, be expected to be loyal to their Spiritual marriage to Christ in the future? This life is the training ground for that future marriage. Let us notice that the word “loyal” is used in that very passage, just mentioned, in the NKJV.
Luke 16:13 "No servant 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." What does that word “Loyal” mean, considering it is not used in the KJV? The Living translation of the Bible has this; Luke 16:13 (TLB) "For neither you nor anyone else can serve two masters. You will hate one and show loyalty to the other, or else the other way around-- you will be enthusiastic about one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (This can apply to this monetary world & its physical things, even a marriage relationship or conversion, not having priorities straight enough to know what to be thankful for and loyal to. Read the article on “Ingratitude” to understand that aspect more fully.)
I have often referred to the verse about seeking first the kingdom of God, (Matt.6:33) and it is because it applies to every aspect of the Christian way of life and is a covenant all true Christians should have made, right along with their baptism. It has even been used in marriage vows for those who really believe this should be a covenant with God the Father and a commitment to that way of life for their marriage. However, these words are not very important to those who cannot really be loyal in anything, for any length of time. Those will not be loyal to God and their calling because they are not learning what it means to be loyal in the physical. (Luke 16:10)
So what does it mean to be loyal to any commitment one has made? Can we back out of commitments once they have been made, especially in our relationship with God and still learn loyalty? Can we decide later on that a covenant can be set aside and still be committed and loyal to God’s involvement in our lives? What about what Christ said in Luke 9:62 (NIV) Jesus replied, "No one who puts his (or her) hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." When we came to God for forgiveness and Baptism to receive the Holy Spirit, we were supposed to have committed to His way of life, which meant keeping the commandments of God as a way of living from then on.
If we cannot be loyal to the Living God and a covenant we have made with Him, then there is not much hope of being loyal to any other commitments either, (Matt.25:23) when a serious trial or test comes along, so what does this word loyal really mean to you? To be “loyal” according to the dictionary definition is to be; “steadfast in ones allegiance to a person or cause”---. Another word fits well and it is “devoted”; which has this definition—“showing devotion, very loyal or loving”. Now we should realize that any true Christian is going to be loyal and loving to God and their calling first—as well as the things revealed in His word. We will not knowingly add to it or take from it for any self-agenda or any other reason. We are to follow leaders in the COG however, only as they clearly are following God and Christ, and we will be loyal to God’s revealed way of life in His word. But in a marriage, if we have covenanted with God, then it is God who we have to rely on; His Scriptures have to be our guide, not the world or unconverted family members or so called marriage experts. Our loyalty must be to God first, His truth and then to the converted spouse next and above all else. However, we do not have to be involved in a marriage relationship to learn loyalty.
When loyalty of heart to any commitment is not evident, (or let go) there will be another loyalty take its place and another take that one’s place and so on, which have no real affect in helping us learn Spiritual loyalty. We cannot serve two masters at the same time. If we do not serve God and stay loyal to Him, we will end up being a servant to Satan and be loyal to that spirit influence and it’s every whim, which is dishonest and corruption. This will most likely begin to make you constantly focus on the self and be loyal to one’s own self interests. All other loyalties will take a second or third place or become none existent and there is a good chance that person will just drift through life aimlessly.
The last letter to the COG shows us that many will become lukewarm and will begin to compromise with truth. We are seeing that very thing happening today. Clear truths of Scripture will begin to be less important and begin to be watered down to a whole other meaning, such as we are seeing. This is also a lack of loyalty to what has already been given and proven to be truth over years of study. We are in the final trials and God is allowing us to be tried on how loyal we will be to Christ and God’s way of life as Spirit beings in the kingdom. We reveal to Him how well we will do by our choices made in this life. Human beings are imperfect, but unless they are going against God and will not be corrected by His word, we should never abandon them, nor can forsake our loyalty to the God Family for the unconverted and the ways of the world. God’s ways must come first, as a loyalty from us to Him.
Sometimes God will allow us to become confused and seriously tried and if we have drifted to far from Him, our loyalties will also become confused and tested and possibly break down. If the Holy Spirit has gone dormant for lack of use in us, or has never really been present, the human mind will find something else to be loyal to— which most likely will be the self and our own human interests. (Rom.8:7 & 13) The way of the world and what we have chosen to believe will be where our loyalty really is, even though still deceiving ourselves into believing we are Christian and of the Body of Christ. No one can cut off their own head and still live, as the Body has to have a head to survive! (1Cor.11:3 & Eph.5:23-24) Wives who cannot be loyal to a converted husband, (Even though he will have human flaws) will not be loyal to Christ in that Spiritual marriage, because they have never learned how to be.
This era of time in the COG has to (Repent in order to) get back to the mindset of being loyal to the truths of God that are revealed and solidly proven by Scripture—not taking things into our own hands as individuals and leaning to our own understanding. We have to be waiting for God to handle things His way—praying for that to happen, while continuing to have the zeal to do what we know is right in God’s eyes and is commanded for true Christians. That is the loyalty to God and our calling that we must develop, in order to sit with Him on His throne in the Kingdom of God. (Rev.3:21) Nothing else will do. All the loyalty to unconverted family and friends and the ways of this world will come to nothing and we will lose the crown we could have had. We have to learn to be loyal to God, His truth and the covenants we make with Him and others in this life, if we are to be given life eternal. We also have to use wisdom and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit; as well as the need to learn who and what to be loyal to and then show we can be trust-worthy in this life by following through.
(The Editor for tcogmso)