Word # 1: The Source of Supreme Authority
A god is, according to the dictionary, “a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes.”
This first of Ten Words reminds us that everything we choose, should flow from the love we have for God, and the thankfulness for setting is free, as Israel was ‘delivered from the house of slavery’ in Egypt. This means that we are not to let any choice we make displace God as our most important concern in life and never to allow anything to threaten God’s central place in your life.
There are many gods active in our world. I have travelled quite a few times around India – there are gods at every street corner and in almost every building. One suggestion is that there are 33 million gods in India, although I have no idea how they counted them … but I guess it is near the truth!
The main god in our world today is very well known. It is Me, it is You. We worship the ‘Unholy Trinity’ of Me, I and Myself. This new religion’s creed is summed up in the belief that each person should attain maximum godhood without hindrance. We claim to be the supreme authority on life and have the final call on what we should do and the choices we make.
Ironically, most people deny the existence of a god while taking it upon themselves to do a god’s work with a god’s prerogatives.
Although people may enjoy pretending for a time they can be gods, deep down they know better.
That’s why Christianity is the most persecuted faith today – because of its insistence on worshipping the One, True God of the Bible – and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of Jesus Christ claims absolute authority over our choices. When making major choices, therefore, we must get to know God’s opinion and ask Him for wisdom to make the right choices.
Our capacity for being our own god, is compounded by the temptations from ‘the gods of this world.’ Paul writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) These powers are constantly tempting us to make our own choices, independently from God. Managing money is not just a technical exercise of adding up, calculating risk, percentage growth etc., but is, at the heart of the matter a spiritual discipline.
Jesus unmasked the spiritual power behind money which he called, “Mammon.” He challenges us to examine our choices.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (mammon).”
This means, practically, that the main focus on making our choices has to be God’s will and not financial concerns. If we know that God wants us to do something which will cost money we may not have, then He will provide. God’s work, done in God’s way will never lack the resources needed.
Mammon is the god behind our economy and the consumer mindset we have today. Mammon gladly receives our offerings made with plastic cards in it’s shopping temples and websites, promising fulfilment, status, well-being. It’s promises are empty; you can buy medicine, but not health; books but not wisdom; a house but not a home; sex but not love.
This first Word is a challenge to remain loyal to God, loving Him and serving only Him. Mammon wants us to love it and serve money.
One of my life verses is
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5)
As you make your choices in dependency on God, may he make you independent from mammon and the economy of this world. Living and working in God’s economy sets you free.
Look at two of my books, available from the Compass shop or Amazon.
“The Flow – Living and working in God’s economy” &
“Monkey Business – You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
Word # 2: “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind.’
... to be continued ...