No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
Enemies of prayer III: Worldliness
Worldliness hinders prayer because it is the attempt to back two horses to win a race! Praying to God while pursuing worldly pleasures will result in failure in both realms. Some people have just enough Christianity not to enjoy the world any more, but not enough to really enjoy God. The tragedy is that pursuit of empty pleasures robs us of ever tasting the bliss of God’s Presence. Prayer is not a goal in itself – it is the Presence of God that is the goal. But this goal cannot be attained unless we pursue it with all our hearts. The great fact of spiritual life is that it only works on the basis of ‘all or nothing’. Moses ‘forsook’ the pleasures of Egypt – Hebrews 11:27 – he broke irrevocably with that line of things in his heart and life. It takes the power of God to get ‘Egypt’ out of our hearts and appetites. But God can only do that when once we have made up our minds where we really belong. The alluring attraction of the world lies in the sense of safety and comfort that it affords. Money is like a cushion that shields us from harm. It provides food, health care, pleasure and security. Worldliness is a substitute for God or, to put it bluntly, idol worship. The tragedy of idol worship is that it ends in tears, because idols fail to deliver. They neither speak, hear nor move. They give no companionship or friendship. All the while God is longing to satisfy our thirst for friendship and love. He will provide for all our physical needs. He will protect and keep us, and all He asks is that we put Him first. Whoever backs the right horse cannot lose, and for those who have eyes to see, it is a one-horse race.
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