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Put God First (2 of 4)

Mike Connell

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Put God First (2 of 4) I've seen too many rich people who had miserable lives to believe that money can really make your life happy. It just can't. God can make you happy, money can't. Money is just a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. What it does instead is it tends to create problems.
We're just talking on money at the moment - and that's enough to get anyone to freeze up; but I do not want to take any money from anyone, I want to help you.

So today I want to share a message called ‘Put God First’, and I encourage you to open your heart to let God speak to you today.

We don't want any person to be under law. Law puts you under a sense of duty: I have to do this; I have to do that, or whatever.

I want you to catch the heart and spirit of how you walk with God, and enjoy a blessed life. We certainly have a blessed life.

Last week we spoke on the ‘Spirit of Mammon’, so let's look at Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters...” - no one. It's just impossible. You've got one or the other. “...Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he'll be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon”.

No one can serve two masters, it's just impossible. You're either serving one or serving the other; you love one and hate the other; you're loyal to one and despise the other.

Jesus is laying this out very clear. This is the parable of the Blessed life; He's speaking in the Sermon on the Mount, and He's explaining the principles that lead to a life that's blessed; so He begins to address an issue of finances.

The first thing to see is that there is a battle for your heart that goes on every day - a battle for our heart. Every day I have a struggle and a battle for the loyalty of my heart - and you do too - no one is immune to it.

We live in a fallen world. It's under the rule of principalities and powers, so pressure from our culture comes on all of us. No one is exempt. We all face pressure, and so there's a battle for loyalty on your heart, and the Bible's very clear. It contrasts the word God and Mammon, so it's saying: God is a spirit; Mammon is also a spirit. It's a spiritual power that works and operates behind money, and wealth, and riches in the world. It's a spirit being, it's a spiritual power.

As we're well aware, whoever has a lot of money or has the accumulation, well he seems to have tremendous power; but money itself, we saw last week, has no power. It's the spirit behind it that has the power - the power to rule you, or power to rule your life, and cause you to have many difficulties.

So one of the things we know, from simple things about deliverance, is that if you are under the influence of a spirit, then it will be talking to you continually; so if you're under the influence of the spirit of Mammon, it will talk to you.

Now it doesn't sort of turn up and say: I'm an evil demon, and I'm talking to you. It's just: you have your mind gets full of thoughts, and if you listen to those thoughts, they can become so familiar and so natural to you, that they seem quite reasonable; but if a person is under the influence of the spirit of Mammon, then there'll be a number of things.

First it will speak to you. It will speak to you: “there's not enough, I need a bit more”. It'll always be talking to you, and it'll be talking about money, and the concern about money: “oh, they're just after my money”, or “people want my money”, or “I haven't got enough money”.

It'll promise you: if you just got a little bit more, you'll be really secure. If you just got set up, you'd be right. If you had enough money, then people would really notice you.

So it talks all the time, and it makes promises that it never delivers on. I've seen too many rich people, who had miserable lives, to believe that money can really make your life happy. It just can't. God can make you happy, money can't. Money is just a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. What it does instead is, it tends to create problems.

I remember going to a man in Taiwan, and he was one of the wealthiest men I've ever met in my life - I never asked the amount, but he owned banks, and railroads, and he was extremely wealthy. He had guards everywhere he went. He couldn't even come to church; because it's just such a drama coming to church with armed guards around him all the time. He was in danger of kidnapping, and his family were in danger of kidnapping; so they used to live with security, and the first thing I saw when I go in the door is an armed guard, who checks me out before I can go. I passed three guys with guns before I got to the guy; then we sat and talked, and everything around him was very nice.