“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely). 14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous and lovers of money, heard all these things [taken together], and they began to sneer at and ridicule and scoff at Him. 15 But He said to them, You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God. Luke 16:13-15 AMP
Jesus says that a person cannot serve these two masters – God and mammon. Mammon is riches, money, possessions, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely. God and mammon are diametrically opposed to each other and you will always end up choosing one over the other. When you choose to serve one you are in effect rejecting the other. Nobody can avoid this choice. Every single person on the earth makes the choice either for God or their stuff. You cannot love God and love mammon. You cannot trust in mammon and trust in God at the same time. If you trust in mammon it is because you do not trust God to supply what you need or to take care of you.
If you truly trust in God, then you will not be dependant on money or possessions – it makes no difference to you whether you have any or not – you know that God will take care of you on a daily basis. If you do not trust God to take care of you and supply your needs, you will be clinging to your mammon for dear life. The Pharisees were supposed to be spiritual leaders, but they did not love God anywhere near as much as they loved money. The very reason that they were angry and offended at Jesus is because they were covetous and lovers of money. If they were not, they would not have been offended at all. Jesus hit the nail on the head and exposed their sin and so they reacted violently. Instead of receiving the word and humbling their hearts before God, they derided Jesus – they sneered at Him, ridiculed Him, and scoffed at Him. This is a religious spirit.
A religious spirit hates it when you talk about money and giving and being a blessing. A religious spirit makes the appearance of being humble, but in reality it is very proud at heart. A religious spirit makes the appearance of honoring God, but it is serves and promotes itself. A religious spirit makes the appearance of obeying God, but it does what it thinks is right without asking God what He wants. Many religious people are sincere, but they have been taught wrong principles and ideas by their religious leaders and they just don’t know what the word of God actually says about their situation.
The devil likes to cloak himself in religion and deceive people into rejecting the living word of God that will break bondages and bind him up. The devil knows that if you tithe, God will rebuke him and not allow him to destroy you or your family. The devil knows that if you get a hold of God’s word and begin to put God first in your life and begin to obey Him in your giving, that God will begin to bless and prosper you. The devil is going to try to prevent people from getting to the truth because when they know the truth, they will realize that they can take authority over him!
Colossians 3:5 AMP says, “So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).” Covetousness is idolatry. You worship money and stuff instead of God. 1 Timothy 6:10 AMP says that, “the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.” Covetousness will cause you to sin – to be jealous of what others have, to steal from them, to lie, and even to kill. The devil wants to control and destroy you and if he can get you to make mammon your idol, he can do both!
Luke 12:15 AMP says, “And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs.” Covetousness, according to the Amplified Bible, is the immoderate desire for wealth and the greedy longing to have more. Covetousness will cause you to reject God in your pursuit of possessions. The most important thing you need is eternal life and this you can only get from God. Money cannot buy salvation. The devil knows this and this is why he tries to fill you with either fear or arrogance or both – so that you will keep your focus on your stuff and trust in your stuff and neglect to pursue God, Who holds the key to heaven and your freedom.
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5 AMP