“No one 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. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” (Matt 6:24-25, NKJV)
(Today’s devo is a continuation of the last two days’ posts. You can find the first of the three here).
What does it mean to serve God instead of mammon? It is not coincidence that in this same Scripture passage, a few verses earlier, Jesus tenderly spoke these words: “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (v. 6). Serving God means to trust Him with all your heart for all your needs, knowing that He is intimately familiar with them. His attention is fixed on you at all times, and He promises never to abandon you. He will come through for you. Beautifully so.
In contrast, serving mammon means that you put your trust in money itself and the world’s system of acquiring it. Ironically, serving mammon is a kind of bondage. Just like happened with my great aunt, it haunts its servants with the constant fear of privation.
How Jesus longs to bring us into the freedom of understanding who our Daddy is! Here’s yet another related facet of the passage we are examining today: After telling us that Abba knows what our needs are, the Lord proceeded to teach us how to pray. Let’s meditate for a moment on these well-known phrases (vv. 9-11):
“Our Father in heaven…” Daddy. Papa. Abba. The One who loves me. The One who really likes me. The One who delights to protect me and provide for me. The One who’s got me.
“Hallowed be Your name…” I exalt You! I lift You up as holy, set apart, infinitely higher than all else! You are immeasurably greater than every circumstance around me! Holy, holy, holy are You!
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” Heaven. There’s no lack in heaven. There is abundant, overflowing provision in heaven. Your love-glory inundates heaven’s atmosphere with joy and peace and goodness and light. I am seated with You in these heavenly places of perfection. Let the majestic reality of Your realm come here and now, into this piece of earth where You have planted me. On earth as it is in heaven!
“Give us this day our daily bread…” My eyes are fully on You. You are keenly aware my needs. Here they are; I entrust them into Your unfailing care. I see You holding them carefully in Your immense, gentle hands. I know I have what I am asking for, cuz my Daddy loves me more than anything!
Do you see how asking for daily bread can flow with so much faith as we pray this way? Daddy intimately knows our needs. So we take our focus off them and lift our gaze to Him as the exalted One. We elevate our faith by joining in all of Heaven’s magnifying of His marvelous name. Then, from a perspective of wonderfully strengthened trust, we simply and effortlessly deposit our requests into His hands.
This is what it means to serve God and not mammon. And guess what? The deeper we go into this way of living, this singular focus on Him increasingly eliminates anxiety from our lives. Again, it’s no coincidence that the verse immediately following Jesus’ instruction to serve God and not mammon begins, “Therefore… do not worry about your life…” (v. 25).
The absence of worry flows naturally from a “good eye” focused on Him. This, precious friend, is what Daddy yearns to give us. God, and not mammon. What a glorious Master to serve!
In what other ways does the god of mammon steal from its servants? How does this current worldwide crisis help reveal whether we have learned to deeply trust our good, good Master?