Are my decisions based on God’s will or money?
24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. - Matthew 6:24
This teaching is the central theme of my personal story. I chased the “good life” and got it, but felt completely torn between my love for God and success. I suffered major internal tension and a lack of peace for 18 months. I was experiencing exactly what Jesus is warning about. Money was choking the word of God, my relationship with Him, and His mission in my life.
John Piper, in his book “What Jesus Demands from the World” pointed out something I did not notice about this teaching. He explains that Jesus had just commanded us not to store up treasures on earth (Mat 6:19-21), and then in between that money teaching and the one above, He takes an odd break to teach about having good eyes so your body is full of light (Mat 6:22-23). Piper concludes Jesus is likely teaching that you cannot have good spiritual eyes of understanding until you properly see money as God sees it. I think he is spot on. It is clear that money is the number one false god and competitor for our heart, in God’s eyes.
Shortly after losing everything, I was walking down the street crying because I only had $23 to my name. I remembered that picture of me with the check for $250k and all the money I earned. I felt like a total failure, never to be useful to God again. As I walked in tears, I heard the Spirit say to me, “You are far more useful to me right now, with the $23, than you ever were with the $250k.” I was encouraged to hear from God, but I could not yet fully understand what He was saying because my spiritual eyes were still dark in that way.
What does it mean to serve money? It means you are making decisions based on financial outcomes rather than God. Instead of seeking God’s direction and waiting on Him, you live exactly like the world and carnal “Christians”. From heaven’s perspective, money is your god and it has more influence in your day to day decisions than God does. The majority of people in America are serving money. Are your major decisions being dictated by God’s will, or by financial outcomes?
One time I desperately needed money. A year earlier I had said no to a $150k job offer because God asked me to. This time, I had been offered $25k worth of video work, and I really needed the financial relief. I prayed and God told me no again. He was testing me to see if I would serve Him or money, because my whole life I had served money. There have beenmany tests like this, but I resolved to serve God, not money, no matter the cost, with God’s help. I trust and obey God and then leave all the results to him. There is always a sacrifice to serve God, but there is always a greater reward too!
When you enter into the deeper Spiritual life with God, money will simply become a tool to meet your basic needs, help others, and to grow the kingdom. You will have no desire to acquire it, or store it up for yourself. There is deep contentment even without it (1 Tim 6:6).