Your Feet in Two Canoes
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It's an old joke, but it's still worth repeating. "What did the Indians say when Columbus landed?" Answer: "There goes the neighborhood!" Well, from the Native perspective, that's exactly what happened. As the march of non-Native people spread across this continent, each tribe had to decide how they were going to respond. Some tribes that our On Eagles' Wings team went to in a recent summer historically used a vivid word picture to capture the choice that their people faced. They talked about the two canoes. They said there were two canoes on this river that divided the world of their people from the world of these new people who had come. One canoe was the ways of the Indian people, the other canoe the ways of the white people. And, as the elders would say, you could not have a foot in each canoe. You had to choose your canoe.
Now Jesus had a lot in common with the Native people of North America. He was a tribal man; He grew up in a village; His country had been taken over by others; He loved nature; He told stories; He was poor; He died a violent death. Now, while He didn't talk about those two canoes, He said something about following Him that sounded very much like it. It's recorded in Matthew 6:24, our word for today from the Word of God.
Jesus simply said, "No man can serve two masters." Or have his feet in two different canoes. You can't claim Jesus as your Lord, the decider of what you do, and have someone or something else that is your deciding factor. Like a man trying to straddle two canoes, you'll be pulled apart.
In spite of the impossibility of living for two masters, so many who say they belong to Jesus are trying to do it - maybe you. You say Jesus is your Lord, but you've got a boyfriend or girlfriend you really revolve your life around. When it comes to a choice between what Jesus wants and what you need to do for money, money wins. Or a choice between what certain friends want and what Jesus wants. The friends win.
You say Jesus is "number one," but what you watch on the Internet or TV is something He died to deliver you from. No matter how much your music is about things that Jesus hates, you just keep hanging onto it. God's book commands you to not be "unequally yoked with unbelievers" (2 Corinthians 6:14), but you're in a partnership or a romance that continually forces you to choose between their values and Jesus' values. And all too often, they win. What you do with your body, what you do when you're lonely, what you do when you're tempted, what you do when your temper or your hormones are in control, "Goodbye, Jesus."
But nobody loves you like He does. Nobody else was butchered on a cross to take your hell. He died so you don't have to serve that other master. 1 Peter 2:24 says, "He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness." When you live the opposite of what He wants, you basically say, "I don't care why You died, Jesus. I want this." You might as well just say, "I want this more than You."
Aren't you tired of being torn apart inside, trying to choose between your two masters; trying to live with your feet in two canoes? They continue to drift in opposite directions, and so do you. God has some straight talk to you, right from His Word in Joshua 24:15, "Choose...this day whom you will serve." "Choose!" He said. And choose is what you're going to have to do. Choose the One who loves you most. Choose the One you'll be with forever. Choose Jesus.
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.