Matthew 6:24 gives another pointer toward good service: “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.” How does a person serve money? He does not assist money. He does not enrich money. He is not the benefactor of money. How then do we serve money?
Money exerts a certain control over us because it seems to hold out so much promise of happiness. It whispers with great force, “Think and act so as to get into a position to enjoy my benefits.” This may include stealing, borrowing, or working. Money promises happiness, and we serve it by believing the promise and walking by that faith. So we don’t serve money by putting our power at its disposal for its good. We serve money by doing what is necessary so that money’s power will be at our disposal for our good.
The same sort of service to God must be in view in Matthew 6:24, since Jesus put the two side by side: “You cannot serve God and money.” So if we are going to serve God and not money, then we are going to have to open our eyes
to the vastly superior promise of happiness God offers. Then God will exert a greater control over us than money does.
And so we will serve God by believing His promise of fullest joy and walking by that faith.
We will not serve God by trying to put our power at His disposal for His good, but by doing what is necessary so that His power will be ever at our disposal for our good. And of course, God has appointed that His power be at our disposal through prayer: “Ask and you will receive”! So we serve by the power that comes through prayer when we serve for the glory of God.
Without doubt, this sort of serving also means obedience. A patient who trusts his doctor’s prescriptions obeys them. A convalescent sinner trusts the painful directions of his therapist and follows them. Only in this way do we keep ourselves in a position to benefit from what the divine Physician has to offer. In all this obedience it is we who are the beneficiaries. God is ever the Giver. For it is the Giver who gets the glory!