The Monstrous Substitution:
Sunday as we wrapped up our series on the Blessed Life, we got back to the heart of the matter. We started this series by stating that when it comes to a life of generosity, it’s not just about money…it’s actually all about the heart. As we ended the series, I wanted to bring this thing full circle. Matthew 6 is incredibly clear on this issue:
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 NLT)
Let me say that differently: It’s all about the heart. There’s simply no way around this reality. Where our treasure is, there our heart will also lie. Sunday I shared a profound quote from A.W. Tozer, and I want to highlight a small part of it again in this blog:
The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God's gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.” (A.W. Tozer- Pursuit of God)
Tozer speaks of removing God from the throne and putting things there as well. Now, likely no one who claims to be a Christ follower would openly claim to be willing to remove God from the throne. And certainly no Christ follower would admit to worshiping the things they own or the balance in their bank account. But let’s take stock of the situation. When you leave the house on Sunday morning, which are you more likely to go back for if you forget it- your Bible or your phone? If you have to choose between church and a team activity on Sunday, which one wins? When your schedule is too full and overwhelming, do you drop an activity or serving/church attendance? When money gets tight, what is the first thing you choose to NOT fund? When you are rushed in the morning, what do you skip- time on Facebook or prayer and devotions?
When we do these things, are we not removing God as the single greatest priority in our lives and replacing it with things. Temporary, earthly things? So I’ll ask the question again that I asked on Sunday. Who and what are you willing to walk away from? If you come to a fork in the road and God calls you one way, but mammon calls you the other, who will you follow? When we choose not to tithe or be generous, we are choosing our master. We are choosing to put earthly resources above our Heavenly Father. This is a monstrous substitution to be sure.
The blessed life is one where you choose wisely. That’s it. It’s not about money. It’s about Lordship. It’s about who or what is your master. And it’s your choice. It’s all about obedience. So what will you choose?