The Pull of Two Masters

“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!

“No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.” – Matthew 6:19-24

I was wondering what to write about today and this passage came to mind. So here we are. I will admit straight off that this is a difficult passage for me.  I wouldn’t say that I spend a lot on myself and things that I want on a regular basis. I’m definitely more of a saver than a spender. But this isn’t about what we buy and what we don’t.

Where this passage holds me accountable is more the big picture type stuff. I can trust God with the daily things and with my needs, but what about my dreams? Where it stings a bit in my heart is that I can tend to look more on money than on God to fulfill my dreams at times. If only I had more money, I could do this. If I had more money, I could do that.

I have a dream of owning a retreat centre some day. One where people who are sick and can’t travel, broke and need a break, and the spiritually weary can come and find rest. Where people can feel restored in their faith, cared for in their needs and with their hurts, and leave feeling renewed in their hope of the Lord. 

Though it is a great dream, it is a big one! If Michael and I did it the way we desire, it would be a large financial dream. But sometimes I feel it’s just that, a dream. When that feeling comes out is usually when my eyes are focused on the god of money instead of the God of the universe. All of a sudden, I’m striving and pushing myself to perform and do what I can to bring in money; to pay off our house and make ends meet so that some day I can work for this dream. 

However, when I refocus my gaze back on Jesus, the striving ceases and I find peace. I hand the dream back over to Him. My faith is re-centered on the fact that if the Lord desires us to pursue this dream, He will make it happen. I don’t need to strive. I need to work hard and honour Him in the here and now, to be a good steward of what He’s given me, and to seek His counsel and timing for the future. 

“Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48). When our focus is on God, we’ll know how to use what we have for His glory, and we’ll keep accountable to it.  

That’s my battle between god and God. Ultimately, money and flesh don’t matter. Spirit and Life do. If my heart is fixed on the Lord and what’s important to Him, the rest will work itself out. If my needs are met, I can find contentment in that. If He grants me “exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20), I can rejoice that much more in Him because I know where it’s coming from. Not by my own doing, but by His. 

All that we have and all the resources at our disposal are not solely for our enjoyment and earthly pleasure. They have purpose for something greater.

How about you? Where does the god of money tend to creep up and try to take over in your life? Are you aware of this? If so, how do you combat it? Are you trusting the Lord to provide for your needs, desires, and dreams? For your day to day requirements?

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