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Sermon On The Mount - Living in the Kingdom
By Pastor Delbert Young

24. God or Mammon

(video audio page)

God or Mammon

Scriptures: Matthew 6:22-24, Matthew 6:21, Matthew 6:24, 2 Kings 6:12, 2 Kings 6:16-17, 2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Kings 17:41

I want to talk to us today about seeing into the supernatural. People desire to see into the kingdom of God, but don't know how. Jesus wants us to see, so he explained what allows us to see and also what stops us from seeing.

Here is what the Lord said.

Matthew 6:22 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

Matthew 6:23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

Eyesight is something everyone understands. There is nothing like good vision. A person's ability to see in the natural is dependent upon his or her eyes being good or bad. If the eyes are good, the vision is good. The person is able to move about quickly, avoid obstructions, enjoy all the beauty of life. If a person's vision is bad, the quality of life is hampered. Instead of light coming in to help us avoid obstructions and enjoy life, light is blocked and darkness begins filling the vision. The greater the vision problem, the more the quality of life is affected. If the eyes are bad, the whole body is affected and if blind, how great is that darkness!

Of course, Jesus is not giving us a lesson in optics. He is teaching us how to live and see in the kingdom. The eye is the window (lamp) of the body. If the window is clean (good) then the light from outside can come in and fill the entire body. If the window is dirty (bad), the light is restricted accordingly.

Jesus is telling us how the spiritual kingdom operates. He is teaching us about the supernatural. If I want to see into the spiritual realm, I must keep my vision clean. But from what must I keep it clean? What is it that will dirty or disease my window/vision? The answers are treasures on the earth. Let me show us the context.

Jesus had just said to not store up treasures on earth. Instead, store up treasures in heaven - supernatural - because treasures hold our hearts. Remember?

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

He immediately made this statement about the eyes.

Matthew 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

Matthew 6:23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Then Jesus followed that statement about vision with this statement.

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

Jesus gave us the key to spiritual vision. The things which block our seeing into the supernatural are treasures on earth and money/mammon. Let me say that another way. Our ability to see into and experience the supernatural realm is directly connected to our treasures. We cannot see in the spiritual - supernatural - if we allow wrong treasures to come us and the kingdom. Treasures on earth will cause spiritual cataracts, spiritual glaucoma, spiritual blurred vision, and spiritual blindness.

There is a story about Elisha in 2 Kings 6. The Arameans were at war with Israel, but every time the king of the Arameans would plan an attack, Elisha the prophet would foresee the enemies plan and warn the king of Israel. Every attack of the enemy failed. The king of the Arameans thought there was a traitor among them and asked who it was. One of his soldiers said,

2 Kings 6:12 "None of us, my lord the king," said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom."

The king thought that he would stop that. So, he sent horses and chariots and a strong force to capture Elisah. So many soldiers that they surrounded the city where Elisha lived. Elisha's servant went out and saw that the enemy had surrounded the city and he freaked out. He said, "Oh my Lord, what are we going to do?" Elisha said,

2 Kings 6:16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

The way the story ended was that Elisha prayed that the enemy would be blinded. They were blinded and he led the entire army to Samaria where they were captured by the king of Israel.

I want to tell you today that those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Around us are chariots of fire. Some of you are looking at and focused on a bad situation. The enemy has you surrounded, but God wants to open your eyes. If we will get our vision corrected, we will see that the hills are full of horses and chariots of fire all around. We have allowed other treasures to muddy our window. Let's wash the window.

A person who will keep their treasures in priority can see in the spiritual as well as they can see in the natural. That's why after you talk to certain people when you feel captured, you come away knowing you will make it. You have had a window washing. When the eyes are good - when we are focused on good things - our lives are full. That is what Father has for us and wants us to experience.

Elisha wasn't taken with treasures of the earth, so his heart - his spirit - could see into the kingdom of God. Remember in 2 Kings 5 when a captain of the armies in Syria named Naaman, contracted leprosy and heard about the man of God, Elisha? Naaman went to Elisha to be healed. He offered Elisha ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. That was a big treasure, but Elisha would not come out to talk to Naaman much less accept the treasures. Elisah would not even look at the treasures offered him. He knew it could obstruct his supernatural vision. Instead, Elisha sent his servant to tell Naaman to dip seven times in the Jordan river which Naaman finally did and was healed.

See friends, we can't allow our vision to become clouded. We cannot allow things to get between men and the kingdom.

Oppositely, Elisha's servant, Gehazi, did allow wrong treasures to enter his vision. He did see the treasures that Naaman offered Elisah and followed Naaman. Gehazi lied saying Elisha had changed his mind about receiving the treasures. Naaman, being very appreciative to Elisha for his healing, gave the treasures to Gehazi thinking Gehazi would give them to Elisha, but Gehazi kept them for himself. Because of Gehazi's focus on the treasures of earth, Naaman's leprosy came upon Gehazi and his family.

The enemy wants to blind us and blind our families. But we Christ followers can see.

2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The evil one has a plan for our demise, but Father God has a plan for our success. Father wants to bless us. Father wants us to abound in the kingdom of heaven. It's a supernatural kingdom. It's a spiritual kingdom in which we can live and see. It's where the abundant life exists.

Then, after talking about the eyes, Jesus immediately said,

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

(KJV) Matthew 6:24 . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

I think it is necessary that we note that the thing that blocks our seeing the kingdom becomes not only our treasure. It also becomes our master. I know we don't like to think about it that way, but if our window analogy is correct, it is between us and God. It is hindering our seeing and entering the supernatural kingdom.

The Greek word translated money (NIV) and mammon (KJV) is mammonas pronounced mam-mo-nas' and means treasure, riches (where it is personified and opposed to God). The thought of mammonas that Jesus gave is more than money. It is that which is opposed to God in our lives.

Jesus said that no one can serve two masters. A slave was owned by one person. It was impossible for a slave to be owned by two people. It's impossible and it's that simple. There is a verse in 2 Kings that puts this attempt clearly.

2 Kings 17:41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.

I read about a rich man who was determined to take his wealth with him. He told his wife to get all his money together, put it in a sack, and then hang the sack from the rafters in the attic. He said, "When my spirit is caught up to heaven, I'll grab the sack on my way." Well he eventually died, and the woman raced to the attic, only to find the money still there. She said, "I knew I should've put the sack in the basement." (1)

That's funny, but too close to the truth. We will end up with our true master. The master we actually serve will win. Jesus said we cannot serve God and mammon.

There is a story about a farmer who had a cow that gave birth to twin calves, one red and one white. He was so appreciative to the Lord that he felt he should dedicate one of the calves to the Lord. He said that when the time comes to sell them, he would give the proceeds from the Lord's calf to the Lord's work. His wife asked him which calf he was going to dedicate to the Lord. He said there was no need to worry about that now. They would treat them both the same and when it came time, he would decide. A few months later the man came home very sad. His wife asked him what was his problem. He said, "I have bad news. The Lord's calf is dead." She said, "But you had not decided which calf was to the Lord's." The farmer said, "Oh yes. I decided that it would be the white one, and it is the white one that is dead."

It's always the Lord's calf that dies. When money becomes tight, the first thing that dies is the Lord's calf. Often, when we are faced with doing something for the kingdom or doing something that we want, it's the Lord's calf that dies. Maybe it's television vs. prayer or reading God's word. It's the Lord's calf that dies.

It's impossible to serve two masters. We will devote ourselves to one and despise the other, but we can't serve two masters.

I want to encourage you today. God wants us to have treasures. He doesn't want them to get between Him and you. They block our seeing him and his seeing us. He desires we see into the supernatural dimension of the kingdom of God. He wants our eyes clean and good so that life will be really abundant. He wants us to know there are chariots of fire all around us. He wants to take the scales off our eyes as he did with Paul and show us things in the third heaven. He wants to catch us up as he did John in the Revelation and show us things from heaven's perspective. He wants to show us his throne, the four living creatures, the sea of glass, the New Jerusalem, and on and on. There is no end to what we can see and experience. 

1. David Yarbrough, Sermon Central, Illustrations

 

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