Most of us believe that our survival dictates that we must work to support our families, to save for our retirement, to pay for the things we enjoy in life and to attempt to be financially secure.
Yet, Jesus taught us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
Are the aforementioned teachings of Jesus contrary to what the world demands we must do to ensure our security and survival? Let us consider what Jesus’ was attempting to teach us.
Jesus continued with his teaching stating that, ” For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…(Matthew 6:21). Perhaps Jesus was attempting to teach us all that even though we must be concerned with earning money, our main focus should be on what God requires of us.
We are all born in to Subjection
Jesus understood that no matter how much we love our heavenly father; we are all born in to some form of subjection. The bible tells us that, “Every person must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by God’s permission. The existing authorities have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16)
” Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.” (Ephesians 6:5)
The fact is, whether you want to admit it or not, no one in this world is truly free. Each and every one of us was born in to subjection. If nothing more, we are all born in subjection to the laws that were written by men and the requirements of the world we live in.
There is a fine line between subjection and slavery
Jesus further attempted to teach us that, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
Jesus understood that the world we live in demands that we all must be subjected to “the governing authorities” and the demands of “living in this world.” However, Jesus also understood that our own desires and the demands of living in this world, could easily lead us in to becoming slaves of a cruel master; i.e., Satan.
As we have discussed previously, the world is under the control of Satan. The bible says that, “But the Evil One controls the whole world. We know that we are from God and that the whole world lies under the control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19; see also 2 Corinthians 4:4). In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus attempted to teach us that if we allow worldly demands and our own desires to overburden us, we can easily become slaves to earning money, our own pleasures and or other things, such as drugs and alcohol, that can lead us to serving Satan rather than God.
No, we cannot serve two masters. However, in keeping with Gods commands that we “must be subject to the governing authorities’ and doing the things that our daily survival requires, such as earning a living, we must always put serving God as our number one priority. No matter how many demands our own families and this world put on us, we must always trust that God will provide for us.
For the bible tells us that, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
Focus on Gods commands and his will for your life
Certainly, as previously discussed, God understands that we are all subjected to surviving in this world. God commands us to be subjected to the laws of our land and to work hard. (Proverbs 10:4) However, additionally the bible tells us that, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
By understanding God’s will for you and wisely putting God first in your lives, you can make the most of every opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor while serving God by obeying his commands and keeping your focus on his will for you.
Even if you do not believe in the words of the Bible, please consider the words of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, stating that, “You can’t take it with you.” Therefore, if you “can’t take it with you,” why not focus earning treasures with God where at least you have a chance to cash them in after you pass away?