This is part of Chapter 1 of my book "You Cannot Serve God And Money."
A silent war goes on in the hearts of Christians all over the world. In their hearts they really want to serve God by giving more of their time and money to His work and even serving in the ministry full-time. Most Christians also wish that every day was a day of worship, when they can sing songs of praise and worship, hear the Word of God, and just relax in the presence of God.
I have attended many camps, conventions and conferences over the years and one thing I have noticed is that most people bid each other goodbye with tears in their eyes as the meetings end. They had enjoyed each other’s company and fellowship in the atmosphere of praise and worship so much that they feel sad about parting to return to their homes. Being in the meetings was like being in heaven, while returning home is like returning to earth after a short stint in heaven.
The problem is that although people desire to serve God or linger in His presence, they are forced to return to their normal course of life because of the need to work for money in order to put food on their tables and meet other living expenses. They are pulled in two directions: On the one hand they want to dwell in the presence of God longer, while on their other, money tugs at their hearts. The need to work for money to sustain and achieve other goals in life both lures and drags people out of the presence of God.
This unseen war between God and money in the hearts of Christians is the reason Jesus made the statement in Matthew 6:24, where He said:
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The Living Bible’s translation of the same statement in Luke 16:13 says:
“For neither you nor anyone else can serve two masters. You will hate one and show loyalty to the other, or else the other way around – you will be enthusiastic about one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
As this is the key verse upon which this book is based, let me quote it one more time from the Amplified Version. This version of Matthew 6:24 says:
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in or relied upon).”
To serve means to work for someone as a servant or slave with loyalty and to wait upon someone to receive instructions from with the intention or predisposition to obey. It also means to honor, show affection for, love, revere, submit to, bow down or worship, to show affection for, trust, obey and rely upon someone. We cannot serve God and money. It is either God or money, not God and money.