I need to apologise in advance as this post may be lengthy, but I believe that if you read to the end you will be blessed no matter how small, so please stick with me.
Every believer faces this conflict at least once in their life, but I find that this issue is more apparent whenever we decide to embark on ministry work or kingdom business. What is this conflict? Mammon vs. God.
Mammon is not just money as others would have us believe as money in itself is not enough to replace God, Mammon is the spirit of the treasures of this world, that which is considered important and glorious in the eyes of the nations: money, status, fame, independence the list goes on. We have been cleverly indoctrinated into the world’s systems, it’s norms, beliefs and ideals so that we accept that we need money to live, we desire to be independent and we want to be well regarded, where do we tend to get all of this from? Our work. The danger doesn’t lie so much in the fact that we need to live but more in in the fact that after a while we may slowly become consumed by Mammon, when our desire for it merges and gradually begins to gain ground over our desire for God. This is already happening within the church with prosperity teaching, particularly within churches that stem and originate from areas of extreme poverty and deprivation. I have heard of church leaders saying many things, using and misusing the scripture to justify their beliefs from the not so innocent God wants us to have life in abundance (meaning God wants us to be stinking rich) to Jesus must have been really rich in order to feed 5000 people! Right before our eyes the Word of God has been slowly transformed into the Word of Mammon.
I recall when God told me to leave my job, many people thought I was crazy, after all what’s the point of studying for 4 years and then working for 5 to just leave my job and laze about? God would never ask let alone tell anyone to leave their job right? In their eyes, my job gave me worth, without it I held very little worth or value to them. And when I then decided to go into Kingdom business, they told me that it was impossible to run an ethical business, that I had to play according to the rules of the game if I wanted to be successful. When I refused to accept that I couldn’t run a business on Kingdom principles they thought I was crazy, yes even other Christians did!
When Yeshua said that we can’t serve two masters, it wasn’t Him trying to be perverse or difficult, He was just being honest. We can’t decide to have all the trappings of the world and focus on acquiring it (the reason why many people decide to go into business and even ministry and open churches) whilst at the same time focusing your energy on God, it’s like trying to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time!!! Whenever, I’ve said this people look at me and say “so does that mean only poor people can enter into heaven?” Well, the obvious answer is no that’s not what the Bible teaches but it does say this:
- everyone who enters into the Kingdom of Heaven will be poor in Spirit (matt 5: 3)
- that it’s a lot easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter into heaven.
No, heaven is not the reserve of the poor but it is incredibly difficult for a rich person to enter into heaven, of those who do get there you can be guaranteed that they did not make Mammon their idol! I do honestly believe that God wants His children not to suffer and to have good things, and He is more than happy and willing to provide us with them but it is our fleshly lusts and desires that prevent God from blessing us financially. For God, the eternal destiny of our soul is much more important than living in the lap of luxury for 70 odd years. When we say the Our Father and pray “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” what do we expect God to do, well if God knows that Mammon is a real temptation and evil for us, He’s not going to hand us over to it is He?
So where does it leave us as believers, who understand that in order to put bread in our mouth that we need to work? (Click on page 2 to continue reading – scroll down a bit)