Luke 16:3 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
These words of Jesus are possibly some of the hardest in all of scripture, but nonetheless they are true. Here in America we are the most prosperous (mammon wise) people on all the earth, and we know it, and we are proud of it. We claim this prosperity to be the blessing of God, but I am going to contend that this prosperity amounts to nothing more than scales that blind our eyes to the very majesty and true provision of the Lord. The Lord has provided us much, but our own self-made prosperity has blinded us to the true blessing of the Lord.
When a sacrifce is made for the Lord He receives it and showers blessing upon the sacraficing individual. This is true, the problem is that people in general do not really want true blessing, instead they only want more back of what they gave. The mentality is "If I give money, I will receive more" and the motive for giving is a selfish plan that requires no more faith than putting a 10% of your income into a CD, or stock. The truth is that this type of giving is not serving the Lord, but mammon, and in that final day this giving in order to receive worldly reward will be exposed and that giving will be shown to be nothing more than wood, hay and stubble. What is the real blessing of the Lord? The greatest blessing the Lord can give an individual is fellowship with Himself. There is nothing greater. One of the greatest hinderances to this fellowship is our own prosperity, and yet we are so foolish as to call the very thing that blocks the blessing blessed.
So how does this sacrafice work. A properous individual can buy all the food he wants. Yet when this individual sacrafices much he comes to the point where he relies on the Lord for provision. My dad drives a semi truck for McDonalds, and because of this he can get us frozen uncooked quarter pounder meat very cheap. He always just gives it to us. Myself being an engineer in a fairly lucrative position always receive this meat and eat it with out thinking much of it. Now this free food has always been a provision of the Lord, but I never needed it, therefore I never recognized the blessing that it was. Now that I am finding myself in a much different place in life (forgoing engineering for ministry) the very hamburger pattys that I have always had without thinking have become a great blessing in my life. The scales of prosperity have been removed from my eyes and I can now clearly see the hand of the Lord as He feeds me. What a blessing that is. You will never see it so long as you remain fat in prosperity. It certainly is OK to have a lucrative job, but to make no sacrafice is foolish and is willfully remaining blind to real blessing.
This blessing is too great for words, again it is to be able to see God. When Jesus told that young man to sell everything, it was not to be a hard command, but it was a command of love that carried the greatest of blessing. When He says you cannot serve God and wealth, He is not being hard, instead He is trying to open your eyes to real blessedness. A grilled mcdonalds hamburger patty between two slices of bread given by a fellow believer is more satisfying to both body and soul than the finest steak money will ever buy. To hell with getting rich, and all of the wealth that we amass for some later time, would that we would all be paupers feeding from the very hand of the Lord. Again, to have a lucrative job is not unchristian, but to live making little or no sacrifice certainly is.
I must stop, I will probably write much on this topic in weeks to come, it is a passion of mine after seeing already how good the Lord is being and is going to be through this.
I recommend for anyone desiring this to read The Autobiography of George Muller, it is a fantastic testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord.