Two Masters – March 23

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” (Matthew 6:24 NLT)

Juan Pujol García lived in Spain during WWII. Without any military or intelligence training, he offered his services to the British authorities in Madrid. They rejected his offer, so Pujol went to the Germans, pretending to be a rabid Nazi. He was welcomed into the ranks and given training to establish a network of agents in the UK who could provide military intelligence. Without so much as setting foot in England, and using reference books and magazines to great effect, Pujol completely fabricated more than two dozen agents that he used to pass along misinformation to waste German resources. Once the Allies realized how successful he was on his own, they took him in as an agent, moving his family to England, where Pujol continued his deception with the Germans. He was particularly crucial to the campaign to mislead the Nazis about the timing, location, and scale of the Normandy invasion.

Though he was on the payroll of two different nations on opposite sides of the war, nobody would consider him to be loyal to both; like other double agents before him and since, his loyalty to one nation came at the expense of the other. Yet, in our own lives, we try to justify our undue loyalties to people or things other than God. In essence, we want to have the best of both worlds despite such a thing being impossible. As the Lord reminded the Israelites repeatedly, he is “a jealous God who will not tolerate [our] affection for any other gods” (Exodus 20:5). Though it is easy to avoid worshiping at the altars of Moloch, Aphrodite, or other false gods, at some point most of us still end up enslaved to the more secular gods of money, occupation, prestige, or power, all while we still claim allegiance to the God of the Bible.

Reflect on where your allegiance rests by thinking back on the past week and considering the times when you needed to make a choice of some level of consequence. What drove your decision? God? Money? Time?