Creflo Dollar - Trusting God With Your Finances
Come on, give the Lord a hilarious, God bless you to and just thank him so much for what he does. Hallelujah. Amen. You may be seated. I wanted to take tonight and just really drop some things here and there before I actually get started. I'm ultimately wanting to show what the spirit of mammon is and how it shows up, how it's stealth. In other words, you can't see it sometimes.
And sometimes, people don't even know when they are under the demonic influence of mammon. The approach where finances are concerned, I think we kind of miss it sometimes because there is just no scenario in our lives where you're going to experience increase without understanding how vital a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is. This is not taking principles and then saying, "Well, I'm going to execute these principles and then God's gonna bless me physically and financially".
That's not what it is. You've taken it, and in a sense, you've made it carnal, and you're trying to apply it. I've seen some preachers try to take some of the same principles that the world uses and think you can bring that over to the kingdom, and it doesn't work that way. There's some truth to that but happens when everything breaks out. I'm talking about when there's nothing around and God is still doing what he promised to do. And there is just nothing that where increase is concerned, that's going to operate in your life if you ignore a personal, intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
And so, you know, we're talking about conquering the financial realm. I guess the first place I want to start is the fact that, you know I asked the Lord, "All right, how do I dominate the financial realm"? He says, "Like you do every other realm". He said, "When I gave you dominion and authority, it didn't mean you have dominion and authority over demons, devils, circumstances and situations, but not finances". Okay, so it's not this unique thing because we think that the financial realm, we think it is, you know, the number one most important thing in the kingdom, and in reality, it is the least. In fact, it's at the bottom line as far as importance.
Now, please don't misunderstand. It's important for you to have it, but where your faith is concerned, it's the least in the kingdom of God. And somehow between today and Thursday, I want to show you that there is a connection between your faithfulness where money is concerned and everything else. Why is that you hear testimonies, I gave, and the next day they got healed? Or I gave and that person got delivered? There is a connection between faithfulness in your giving, trusting God where giving and receiving is concerned and everything else. Now, I took years for me to do this. I was accused of that over the years, saying, "Well, you know, you mean to tell me that your money, what your money got to do with your healing"?
Well, this week I'mma show you. It's vital. Your money has, and in fact, I will tell you that if you can't trust God where giving and receiving is concerned, neither you will trust him to heal you. It's connected. If you can't trust God where giving and receiving is concerned, it talks about the true riches. And the Bible says, "The blessings of the Lord maketh rich". The blessing in on the line because you can't even trust him with the least in the kingdom of God, and the least in the kingdom of God is money.
I think I'll go ahead and go to Luke 16, and we'll deal with this dominion stuff a little bit later. Go to Luke 16. Let's immediately jump into this because this is something that we've, you know, danced around all of it, you know, for quite some time, the money-life issue, and we kind of separate money from everything else. We believe God as our source for all other issues but we want to be our source for financial issues, and that's the problem. It's when you make your sort, when you become the source of you financial issues, you trust God to heal you of a situation that there's no answer for in life, but when it comes to finances, "God, I'll trust you for to heal my marriage but I got this with my finances".
And that's why you have to have an intimate relationship with God where your relationship with God doesn't separate your financial issues from your other life issues, and you got to pull those together. Now, let's look at Luke 16, I want to start at verse 1. I want to set in context, because if you don't see this in context, you'll continue to read it out of context, and it will be read wrong, okay? Context is the key. I mean, listen, every Scripture that's taken out of the context, you also take it out of its definition, and you also take it out of its application.
You may take a Scripture and use it for other things, and it may be inspiring, but it also may just mean that's not what Jesus meant. You just took it out of the context because the application of the Scripture is based in the context that you find the Scripture in. So that you may lift it out and there may be a level of truth with what you're doing, but even before you lift it out, you need to make sure, allow the context to define that Scripture so that you won't create something, call it revelation, and then run on with it and never find out the intent of why he said it in the first place. So the application of any Scripture is based on the context that it is discovered or found in.
Now, so to lift it out of context immediately, ooh that's, that's going to be kind of scary because now you take a risk, you run a risk of going down the wrong place. It's like you're flying an airplane. If you're one degree off, just one, if you continue to go that way, you're going to get farther and farther away from your destination. That's what's literally happened, where this teaching of finances is concerned. We got one degree off and we started basing our finances only on principle and not on relationship.
Finances are not based only on principles. Like I told you, that's the heading. It's based on relationship. It based on God saying, "You know what? I declare you righteous. You're righteous because I said so," and we put ourselves in the place where we can allow the context to establish the truth, and you see the grace and the truth within the context of it, and you get that first and then God can take ya and show ya all of the different other areas that it can touch. If you understand that, say "Amen".
All right, now, look at verse 1. "And he said also unto his disciples, 'There was a certain rich man.'" Now, certain rich man meant that this, this actually happened. He actually existed. "There was a certain rich man which had a steward, and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods". So let's talk about what a steward is. Okay, we're sons of God but there's still a level of stewardship that sons begin to show. You know when my father was alive, there was still a certain level of honor and management over certain things that he would give me, that even as a son I wanted to be responsible for.
Now, a stewardship as a manager over the property or the wealth of another person, as a manager, he does not or should not be making decisions with stuff that he doesn't own, all right? Now, we understand that but the church moves stewardship that one degree and they kind of started defining stewardship as, let me pause, sheepship. You see why I paused, don't you? And so, what happens is so we know God, God speaks to us and he says, you know, you're going to God 'cause you have a relationship with him, right? And God said, "I want you to get this carpet," and you know, that's the most expensive carpet in the store, but I mean he says, "I want you to get this carpet".
So now, you find something that looks like that carpet and it's much cheaper than that and you come back and say, "Hey man, I want to show you my stewardship. I'm a good steward. I just saved you an extra hundred thousand dollars". Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That's not stewardship. Just 'cause you got something for a cheaper price doesn't means it's stewardship. What makes it stewardship is, is that you got your instructions from the owner, why? Because the owner says, "I'm the one paying for it. I didn't ask you to go and dumb this down, or make it cheaper and then brag on you being a steward".
You're just a manager who decided to do what you wanted to do instead of doing what God wanted to do. So that's one of things you have to check as a minister. Am I doing what I want to do or am I doing what God wants to do? Am I doing what I want to do and then trying to beg God to pay for it? And so, you can't even get, you can't even get God to bless the cheap thing because he's like, "That's, that's not my heart. You're trying to get me to bless your desire and I want my desire to be fulfilled". And it's like, you know, there is provision but you know, you can't go create your own little thing and then try to get me to finance it. So, in your relationship with God, am I doing what you want me to do, or am I doing what I want to do, or am I operating in discontentment?
Okay, let's talk about that for a moment. How do you compare contentment with discontentment because the Bible, the Bible says, and he talks about godliness plus contentment equals great gain. How many of you want great gain? All right, so we're talking about godliness plus being content. Now, we talk about the contentment part, but we don't spend a lot of time talking about discontentment. And discontentment in the life of a person does this, discontentment views everything from a horizontal position or from a horizontal perspective. Discontentment from a horizontal perspective is always looking to people on that same perspective.
And what happens? You see where you are and then you co-compare yourself with some people right there and you look down the line and you say, "Well, here's where I am but there's where they are". And you know what, you know what happens on that level of discontentment? You're always going to be looking at somebody else, and it's always going to say to you about yourself, "Not enough". You're always going to view where you are, "It's not enough. It's not enough". Because you're in discontentment, it's not enough.
And I think that's what happened to a lot of preachers? You're thinking that you're being inspired to go to the next level, when in actuality it may just be discontentment because you keep comparing what God called you to do, what God told you to do, and where you are with the next person that you could see on that line. And you've got to grow up and stop comparing yourself amongst yourself because every time you compare yourself amongst yourself, you limit God.
But contentment operates on the vertical line, and contentment says, rather than me looking in this horizontal line from side to side, and always seeing from side to side not enough, not enough, I look on the vertical line and here's what I am seeing, watch this, "I look on the vertical line and I keep seeing God, 'Enough.' I look on the vertical line, 'Enough.' And no matter what's going on in the ministry, I keep looking on the vertical line, 'Enough'".
In other words, he becomes the source for whatever needs to happen in your life and ministry. You're not looking at what everybody is doing in ministry. You're paying attention to God so he can keep you focused on what he's calling you to do. So what does that do? That sets you free from image setting. That sets you free from yourself. When you compared yourself with somebody else, when you compare your ministry with somebody else, not understanding, it's not even fair, not understanding what God's called you to do and the way God calls you to do it, and how God calls you to do it, and you compare yourself with somebody else, now becomes an image race.
And now, you're working real hard where they're doing this, well, we need to be doing this too. And then, you know, here's the big famous one, "Well, if God can do it for them, he can do it for me". You've got to become a lot more secure in yourself, and secure in what God has called you do, and secure in the vision that God's called you do and become content with that vision and know that whatever God calls you to do, look at from the vertical line, he's enough. He's enough. God called you to get this building that costs millions of dollars; he's enough.
And what happens? You live in a level of peace that will sustain you God while doing the work and making the thing happen in ways it needs to happen, and you're not a mess. Your emotions are not all over the place. And your negative emotions, you know, I don't need to really get into that, this sermon I'm preaching here. but you allow your emotions to be out of control, the more you allow your emotions to be out of control, the farther you get away from the blessings of God and the designed place that God wants you to be.
And I'm telling you, when you're comparing yourself on the horizontal, you're setting yourself up for your emotions to move you farther and farther away from the plan that God has for your life. This is about relationship. This is not about the cash balance in the bank, because God will contradict the cash balance in the bank. When he tells you to do something, you figure out how to do it and you look vertically so he can speak to your heart. But if you keep playing these games, trying to be like the world, I can't stand it when I hear people say, they try to justify the blessings of God and they say, "Well," and then they use, "Well, the rap singers have this, and that person".
You're not a rap singer. Don't compare yourself with what they have. And you know, that's image. That's all image stuff. It's this fear that my image is in jeopardy of being ignored because I'm not like the person on the same horizontal line, and you got to get over that. This is about relationship. You're in this for the relationship. If you're in the ministry for any other reason except relationship, get ready to fall. It's about the relationship. Relationship and people. That's it. It's not I'm in a ministry to be whatever your image objectives are. It's about relationship and people. Bless the people, the church will grow. Forget about church growth, get into church health, and when your church is healthy, it'll grow all by itself, and you'll have the money to do everything that God called you to do.
Now, Taffi and I have not, too many times, well, you know we don't have these gigantic testimonies about God showing up with $20 million dollars in the nick of time. But here's what we do know, it just always worked out. It little bit this and that, and that, and just focused on what he calls us to do, and then you look up; it worked out. And it keeps working out, and it just keeps working out. I believe that's called living by the blessing. I don't want no financial miracle all of my life. I want to learn how to live by the blessing and not have to worry about where it's going to come from, and just know that, you know, your 20 years go by, your 30 years go by, your 40 years go by and you start having a flashback, and you don't know the big thing that happened.
In fact, it's not the big thing that happens just that one time. I just want to have a consistent, perpetual, walk in God's blessing so that no matter what happens, it just always seems to work out. How do you say it years ago? Quit looking for the event and learn how to discover the process. What's the process? And I believe that process starts with a personal, intimate, daily relationship with the Holy Spirit who says, "I know what you need before you even need it".
Okay, let's get back here. So that's what's meant a long way from defining stewardship, huh? So a steward manages the goods of others and the same was accused, this steward now, he was accused unto him that he had wasted his master's goods. Verse 2. All of that, and we're just on verse 2. "And he called him, and said unto him, 'How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship.'"
Wow, what if, what if God were to one day ever ask us to give an account of our stewardship? It would be interesting to see how much of what you're doing was what you wanted to do versus what he wanted you to do. Give account of your stewardship. "For thou mayest be no longer a steward. So his job is in jeopardy. Watch this, not only his job, 'cause I'mma show you, this guy's fighting the same fight I see today, image. He is concerned about how he gon' look.
So watch this, look at the next verse, verse 3. He says, "Then the steward said within himself, 'What shall I do? For my lord taketh away from me the stewardship.'" Kind of like an admission of guilt, right? "I cannot dig". See, he's concerned about the image. There was nothing physically wrong with him that would prevent him or stop him from digging. What he's saying is, "I can't let nobody see me digging. I can't dig no ditch". See, you're missing the whole thing. Paul built tents. See, that's locating an issue there. "I cannot dig".
See, when you have a family, you have a wife, you got things you got to do, if you're willing to do whatever you need to do for the time, there's an honorable thing about doing what you have to do, but there's something wrong with after you've been in this position talking to God about what you cannot do. And if he told you do it, he's just trying to equip you for something in the future. And don't be so quick to talk about what you cannot do, 'cause God might need you to go that route, take that course, and then put you back in a place so he can show you what to do later on, but you got to stop this thing about telling God what you can and can't do.
Are you listening to what I'm saying? "So the steward said unto himself, 'What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship.'" He says, "I cannot dig". He said, "And to beg, I'm ashamed". You see, you see what's working here? See, he should have thought about this before he mismanaged, but now he's thinking about what's people going to think about me because I cannot dig, and the shame. Shame is, you know, the fear of somebody seeing who you are, and it's like, "Wow, I'm not going to do that". So he's dealing with this.
Now, look at verse 4, "I am resolved what to do". So he thinks about, "Okay, I know what I'm going to do". And he's still operating on a level of pride and arrogance. "I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses". What's he talking about? Look at verse 5, "So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, 'How much owest thou unto my lord?' This is just so all wrong. Look at where this guy is. You're a steward. You're not supposed to call these guys until you've been instructed to do so. "And he said," unto them, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said unto him, 'Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write 50.'"
Now, one of the things I thought about, when the owner, when you saw this, why didn't you just change it? He's like, "I'm trying to honor the bill". The guy's done business with some people that I'm in business with, and I'm trying to honor the bill, even though it was done this way". "Take thy bill, sit down quickly, and write 50". All right, look at next verse, "Then said he to another, 'And how much oweth thou?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' And he said unto him, 'Take thy bill; write fourscore.'" Now, how many of ya know this is not his money? He's using what he doesn't own, 'cause he's trying to set his self up, thinking that if I can do them a favor, then when I'm in need, they'll do me favor.
Before I read verse 10, would you agree with me that in context, we are talking about money and how it's being handled. Is that what you see? We're talking about money and how it's being handled. Now, the reason why this is so important is because Jesus is getting ready to refer to money since the whole context is talking about money and how it's being handled. Verse 10 says, "He that is faithful in that which is least".
Okay, so what have we been talking about? We've been talking about an unfaithful steward where money is concerned. Does everybody see that? Do you see what Jesus just called money? "He that is faithful in that which is," what? What is he referring to there? Least is referring to money, right? So he says the guy who is dependable, the guy who is faithful and trustworthy, the guy that can be trusted with money, is also the guy that can be trusted with much. Do you hear what he just said? He said a couple of things here.
The first thing he said was, "Money is the least in the kingdom of God". That's the first thing he said. Money is the least. Money's not the greatest issue in the kingdom of God. It's the least area of where you can use your faith. Money is the least area where you can use your faith. So he refers to money as being the least, but he also talks about what you do with the least, determines what's gonna happen with the much. Money, money is the area where the test is passed for everything else. That sounds so, you couldn't say that, people get so angry.
How well you manage money determines what happens where healing, deliverance, favor, blessings. What is he saying? If I can't commit, listen, and I know you think favor, but favor's based on trust. It's a relationship. It's your relationship with God. If you can't trust God in the area of giving and receiving, here's what he's saying, this is not on God. This is on you. It's your trust. You trust now is the currency in the kingdom. If you can't trust God where money is concerned, what makes you think you can trust him to heal you of cancer? Everything in the Word of God talks about what happens when it's small determines what happens when it's big.
You know, that's a truth in the natural. You don't go in the weight room and just put on 500 pounds and you've never worked out. How faithful can you do with a broomstick or rubber bands will later on determine what you can do with adding more weight on. How are you managing your exercise with the rubber band? Don't talk to me about bench pressing 500 pounds, 'cause you fixing to kill yourself trying to push 500 pounds and you can't even be faithful with the thing.
But I don't know what it is about Christian people, we want to go to start to the ultimate. We want to jump from the floor to the top. That's not how it works. That's not how it works. And what happens when you ignore this, you just stay there. God, what happened? You have yet, you have yet to prove yourself trustworthy with money. I just gotta say it, now, I'm just going to go ahead and say it. With money, a whole lot of stuff that's not happening, that sounds so carnal. But let's say it this way: you still can't be trusted with the least. Here, in context, the least is money.
Now, you can take that out of context and say, "Well, you know, if you can't be trusted with a little authority, who's going to put into you hand much authority"? True principle, but that's not what he's talking about right here in context. In context, he's talking about money. The least is money. "And he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in the much. And he that is unjust in the least," he's talking about money, "unjust in the least is unjust also in the much". He's putting, and this is the way if you want to test somebody's trust, what he says is let it be a money issue.
Leave $2 on your counter and leave that guy in a room by his self, and after his visit, if your $2 is missing, you know not to make that guy the vice president of your ministry, why? 'Cause he couldn't even be trusted with something little as $2. A matter of giving in church, why is it, why is it... I remember when my mom was rushed to the hospital, you remember that; we were sitting right here. And I just got the news, and we were right in the middle of a meeting, it might have been this one, and I got up and put some money on the step. You and some other folks did the same thing. Did the money purchase the healing? No. The money released the trust.
When I gave, that action said, "I can trust you with the least". And what was I saying? "I can trust you with the least money, you can trust me with the much healing". Until you get that connection, you will keep treating money on the level that the world treats it and not understand how vital it is for you to pass the test where money is concerned. And you thinking, and I'll show you what's going on in just a moment as we, let me just kind of stick where I am. So now, we need to talk about the much. And I believe, I'll just tell you, I believe the much is the blessing, I believe it's the anointing, I believe it's the true riches versus unrighteous riches. The true riches, I believe with all my heart, are all of the finished works of Jesus Christ and the blessings that have come under this new covenant. I really do.
Now, there's something else I did. I began to look at people who take seriously being faithful with money and then look at other areas of their life, and it just keeps showing itself off. You know, you think, "Well, why don't God do this? Why don't God do that? Why don't God do that"? And if we look at your portfolio of how you have managed money, it will tell the story. And you don't want to hear this because you don't want to accept responsibility for it. We just don't want to accept responsibility for where we are. We want to throw that on the devil, we want to throw that on God. But God is saying to the little woman with the widow's mite, listen, that's all she had. And she said, "I'll prove to you I can be trusted. Here's all I have".
And here's what Jesus said, "She out-gave everybody". Why? In trust. She said, "I can trust God with my whole life". He said there were rich people there that day and they gave a whole lot, but their trust wasn't really out there because they had a whole lot left over in the bank account. So the issue was not how much you gave. The issue was how much you had left over. Can you trust me?
And here's the thing, you can't go around and say, "God, I trust you". The authenticity of your trust can be seen with your dealings with the least. You've been trying to measure your trust in other ways, but the bottom line of trust starts with the least. What can you do with the least? All right, now, all I said here is not going to be supported with the very next Scripture here. Verse 11, "If therefore, you have not been faithful in unrighteous mammon".
Now, I'm going to say something here and then I'll prove it to you as we go on. Okay. This hundred-dollar bill, if I put it right here or on the steps or, here it is, hundred dollar bill. All right, that's neither good or bad. That hundred-dollar bill ain't messing with nobody, that hundred dollar bill ain't got no demon on it, that ain't got no angel on it. It's neither good or bad. Now, what gets on that hundred-dollar bill will now determine how it's going to be used. What spirit gets on it is going to determine how it's going to be used.
You'll see later on there are two, spirits that can get on money. God can get on money or Mammon, which is a demon spirit that wants you to not trust God, the spirit of Mammon can get on money. If the spirit of Mammon gets on money and that gets in your hands, you now have unrighteous Mammon, not because there's something with the money, but the guy who possesses it is possessed by the spirit of Mammon. And Mammon wants to keep, and Mammon wants to trust this more than they trust God.
The relationship with God has been dismissed. Mammon wants to go against every truth that God talks about. Mammon wants to contradict everything. Mammon basically says, "I don't want you to trust God, and I don't want you to need God. Trust money, trust this. This is going to take of you, not God". That's what Mammon says. But you put that back down, and a man of God or a woman of God picks this up, oh, now God's on it. Oh, now God's on it. Watch this relationship. "Lord, what do you want me to do? Is this mine? What would you have me to do with this"? You're ready for God to use this to do what needs to be done.
Now, I mention that because there's a reason why Mammon is used, to indicate what's on money. Mammon is not money. Mammon is the spirit that's on money. If you just stop and define money as Mammon, no. Mammon is a demonic spirit that's trying to get you not to trust God but to trust money. And when Mammon gets on money, that is just showing you how this money's going to be directed and how it's going to be used.
So you're going to have to pay attention to Mammon because Mammon's just going to indicate, all right, we know the destiny of money. But as long as you keep making money and Mammon equivalent, and not understanding that Mammon is a spirit that gets on money, just like God is a Spirit that can get on money, it determines the direction and the destiny of the money. And if you trust this money more than you trust God, because Mammon is motivating you to that, you see the difference now? It determines what happens here. Where is your trust? Trust, trust, trust, not money.
If you read the New Testament, Jesus talks about money all the time, and in every case, it's Jesus trying to tell us, "Don't trust this more than you trust me". In every case, "Be careful now. Don't trust this more than you trust me". Well, God says, "I want you to go out and prepare to do a meeting over here," and you get the budget back and it's a lot of money. And now, money determines what you're going to do. Let me give you another little illustration of how Mammon drives your life.
You can be in a situation where, you know, you come to church and you say, "You know, God bought me here. I'm going to be here the rest of my life. I know I'm supposed to be here. The Lord spoke to me. I wrote it down. I got it in my heart". And then the next day, you get a phone call that says, you know, if you'll move to Seattle, you got a $300,000 raise, and then you come back and say, "Oh, the Lord has blessed me".
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. And now the $300 raise motivates you to move to Seattle. Now you're doing something that God couldn't even get you to do. He'd been trying to get you to move to Florida, but money had more of an influential motivation to get you to move to Seattle. And you so blind, you thought it was God, but it was Mammon. And once you got to Seattle, no more church attendance, no more prayer, they ain't trying to find no church, glad I ain't there anyway so I don't have to go, and now your life is a mess.
Next time I see you, "Hey, where's your wife". "Well, we ain't together no more". That wasn't God. That was Mammon using money as the motivator and you couldn't be faithful with the least and money controlled your life because that wrong spirit was on you, which got on the money and it motivated you to do some things that were against the will of God, and then you trying to justify it. "The Lord said". The Lord ain't said.
We were eating breakfast the other day with the Fullers and he said, "There's a difference between hearing from the Lord, big L, and little l". Lot of people hearing from little l. That ain't big L talking to you. That was little l. And little l might be a bottle of liquor. Little l might be, I don't who little l is, but that wasn't big L that told you to do that. Money with Mammon on it is responsible for so many things, that money with Mammon on it is responsible for slavery.
Money with Mammon on it will get you to marry somebody you don't even love, but the money motivated you to do that. God wasn't even on it. Money with Mammon on it, may even get you to leave the church that God called you to that only had a hundred members and you now go to a church that's bigger, and what's behind that is they're offering you a whole lot. You didn't tell that part, and now you get over there and your whole life and family breaks up, because money with Mammon was the motivator and not God with money being the motivator. And this is the number-one motivation in our land, in our country, it's in our government.
Mammon is a demon spirit. It'll get you to lie, it'll get you to cheat. As long as the end results is more money, you'll say, "I don't need God. I got money". And that's what happens with a preacher who says, "Well". You know some guy, it might have been you, Bank. We were talking about this, about what do you say to a preacher who says, "I don't need to hear about God's grace. I've already got a big church, I got plenty money coming in here. If it ain't broke, I don't want to fix it".
And were talking about the fact, I said, "See there, all of that was concerning him," because most of the time, when you look at it, you're looking at people who don't understand that they've been forgiven, they're under the new covenant, and so you're being deceived by inflammation. Your church is swelling. That's not real growth because it's not healthy. So it's a big church with inflammation which is inviting chronic disease to come in and be a part of your life. So what does that mean? What does that mean? You actually think the size of your church and the amount of money that's coming in is declaring success? That may not be success, you've got to dig a little deeper.
So when you go into the congregation, you find out you got people that are condemned and guilty and they're full of shame, and there's sin going on, and they got to wear the mask all the time, and they're phony and they're hiding, and that's not healthy. They're just coming to church to see if they can get some relief. And after a while, it's not going to be enough to come to church, and then you're going to get the real picture that it was just a swell and not growth.
I'm telling you, man, this Mammon thing is behind so much failure in the body of Christ. The guy that gets on the pulpit and said, "You should not talk about money from your pulpit. That's just wrong". He is being motivated by a spirit of Mammon. Mammon is using him to protect the integrity of Mammon's mission. Or you see people sitting in the congregation and you say it's offering time and they start feeling funny, that's the spirit of Mammon 'cause the way to break the spirit of Mammon is to give. And every time you feel funny about giving, that's the spirit of Mammon.
Mammon wants to attack anybody that will try to undress it. And so they'll create a narrative about you to make you look like a crook; there's something wrong with you, why? Because Mammon wants to protect its integrity so it can continue to drive people to do the work of Mammon, and our entire society is being manipulated by a demon spirit of Mammon. And there are some people that are possessed with Mammon and they don't even know it. That happened in the Bible when Peter said, "Lord, you got to die". And Jesus said, "Satan, I rebuke you. You're more concerned about the things of men than you are the things of God". That was Mammon.
"If therefore ye have not been faithful," and can't be trusted," with the unrighteous mammon, "who will commit," who's going to commit to your trust? Who's going to commit to your trust? That's really the question. Who's going to commit to your trust? What's the condition of your trust? Who's gonna commit to your trust? Seriously? Who's going to commit to your trust? You can't even trust God where giving and receiving is concerned. Who's going to commit to your trust miracles, healing, signs and wonders, revelation? Who's going to commit to your trust? You can't even be trusted with giving and receiving.
"Oh God, give me more revelation," why? You can't be trusted with a dime on the dollar. You scared to give a dime. Who's going to commit anything to your trust, to your Mammon-infected trust? Who's going to commit anything? Who's going to do that? Nobody's going to do that. Wrong motives, no intimate relationship with God to help guide you through this thing. And all of a sudden, the preachers in the pulpit now see the money as their answer, and oh how will Mammon move them to do anything to get it? Will Mammon move you to put fear on people where giving is concerned, even when you have learned that that's wrong?
Then I get up there and I tell you, "Well, you know what? I can prove to you that, you know, there's a difference between tithing under the old covenant and tithing under the new one". And the Bible says, "Don't give out of necessity". That simply means don't give to try to be blessed, don't give 'cause you're afraid you'll be cursed. You're blessed because of Jesus, okay? But give out of a cheerful heart. Mammon will deceive you and just slowly reel you in to make it look like a blessing but it's really a curse. Wow.
So I mean, we can learn about a lot of principles and all that stuff, and that's good. Listen, I'm not against principles. You need to know 'em, you need to understand them, but you should desire principles that will be spirit-led, spirit-bred, spirit-understood where the Holy Ghost can speak to you and you get a word from God about the Word of God, because there is no breakthrough in the Bible except it was a word from God that caused a breakthrough in your life. A word from God that says, "I need you to give this, do this, do that".
God told you to do that. Mammon ain't gon' never tell you to give and be a blessing. Don't worry about it. But what if it's Mammon? Don't worry about him, Mammon ain't never concerned about giving away from itself. Mammon is the guy that says, "My barns are filled. What am I going to do? I'mma build bigger barns". Mammon's not concerned about blessing or being a blessing. Mammon wants to preserve. Mammon's got a church, and he wants followers, and he wants people to join his church. And you want to know something? That may be the largest church in the United States right now. The First Church of Mammon.
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Luke chapter 16 again, Luke chapter 16. This morning, I woke up, I wanna say this to you before I get started. God brought this back to my attention. There's so many people that believe that if they can just get a lot of money, it would solve all their problems. But money problems will not be solved with money.
Listen to me. Money problems are not solved with money, and that's the deception a lot of people have. But you've gotta understand how you got to the problem. Wrong decisions may have gotten you to the problem. Your emotions may have moved you over to the problem. There may be issues that you've been hangin' on to for years that might be the problem. There may be some changes that need to be made in your life. That may be the problem. But let me tell ya somethin'. Money by itself is not gonna solve a money problem. There may be some, I don't know, you may be motivated by unhealthy greed that might be the problem. You may keep makin' decisions.
You know, materialism is not having materials. So when somebody accuses you of being materialistic, materialism doesn't mean having materials. If materialism meant havin' materials, then all of us would be guilty of materialism. So, what is materialism? It is when you try to replace God with the materials. You know, you say, "Well, I don't feel good. I'mma go shoppin'". Well, that's materialism. Why? Because if you don't feel good, you go to God. But you've decided to replace God with somethin' else or with someone else, that's materialism.
Materialism is when now you allow materials to take the place of God and you're looking for some relief from, you know, what you can get in this world rather than having God as priority. And idolatry is all about replacing God with something or someone else. So, we gotta deal with these weird things we've heard over the years. And tonight, I really wanna just, you know, bear down in this area of mammon so you can really see, you know, what's goin' on here.
Now, last night, I realize I made a pretty strong statement. I'm not saying that to change it. I just wanna reemphasize it, that anything in your life that you're looking for God to, you know, whatever breakthroughs, it's gonna be tied to your trust where giving is concerned. If you cannot trust God in the area of giving and receiving, neither will you trust God in the area of healing, deliverance, increase, none of those things. It is tied to your management and your trust where money is concerned.
Now, if certain people were to hear that, they would come against that with everything because it protects mammon. It protects mammon. And Jesus knew. That's why he kept comin' up, sayin', "All right, now, guys, caution yourself. Don't trust money more than you trust me". And I'm gonna show you tonight where Jesus literally told 'em to leave their materials home. Go out, and when he came back, he said, "Lack ye anything"? They said, "No, Lord, we lack nothin'". He says, "Well, now that you know I am the one that takes care of you, pick your coat up, pick your money up, pick your purse up, but don't depend on 'em".
You follow what I'm sayin'? Don't depend on 'em . So, he was aware of mammon being the driving motivation behind people, you know, not wanting to give or not seeing it as a solution, and trusting money more than you trust God. So, in Luke chapter 16, just to get started here, in Luke 16, verse 10: "'He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in the much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust in the much.'"
Now, we took our time and we read from verse 1 all the way down to verse 10, and the context of Luke 16, from that point on, was talking about an unjust steward who was not faithful or could not be trusted with money. And so Jesus comes down here in verse 10 and he now calls the subject matter of what they were dealin' with "the least". "He that is faithful in that which is least". Well, what was the guy unfaithful with in context? He was unfaithful with money. So, the "least" is referring to "money". Jesus calls money, "The least".
Now, you can take that and you can use it. You can just lift it out of context and you can say, "Well, you know, if you're not, you know, a good steward with little, you won't be a good steward with much". And that would be a true principle. "You know, if you can't be trusted in the smaller things, you won't be"... That'd be a true principle. But out of context, you miss out on what Jesus was saying. He was saying precisely that if you cannot be trusted in the area of the least matter, the smallest matter in the kingdom of God, money, who will be able to trust you with the much, the blessings, and the anointing, and all of the other stuff that, you know, that has been made available to you in the finished works?
And people have a hard time with that because when you hear any kind of faithfulness where it deals with money, well, that's just gotta be carnal, or it's just gotta be a little con game, or people are just tryin' to get your money. And it's not even a money issue. Jesus is tryin' to bring your attention to the real currency in the kingdom, and the real currency in the kingdom is trust. That's the real currency.
And so what happens is you get off on thinkin' it's money. Isn't it interesting how money can change attitudes, how money can cause friends to split up, how money can be the reason for a divorce? What is it that happens? It's really not the cash. It's the spirit that's on the cash. You are trusting and relying more on money's ability to bring you happiness instead of God, and God is, like, sayin', "Don't trust it".
Now, if the money's not the problem, he says, "I just need to be on the money, not mammon". So I'm not one that's saying, "You know, your problem is money". No, your problem's not money. Your problem's mammon. Your problem's management of it. You're not allowing the right motivations where money is concerned. Money under the right management can be a blessin' to the kingdom and get the gospel around the world and accomplish all kinds of things. But money under the wrong management will destroy you and leave you not even trustin' in the God that you said two years ago that you loved and that you trusted.
So this is a serious, serious issue. And he said, "The least is money, and it's the smallest thing in the kingdom of God". Everything in life starts off with the least. I mean, if you're gonna, you know, somebody says, you know, "I can jump all the way across to the Grand Canyon and you can't even jump 2 feet," that's just ridiculous. What are you gonna do when it's small first? What you gonna do when it's little first? Pass the test of little. You're in the ministry. What are you gonna do with two people? Don't talk to God about 3,000. What are you doing with two people? Forget the church. What are you doin' at home?
Everything that happens where the much is concerned is gonna be based on, what are you doin' when it's small? Do you have a small mentality because it's small, or do you have a big mentality when it's small? Because your mentality and your attitude when it's small really is gonna determine, I mean, your attitude is really gonna determine how you go from that point. I used to love when we, you know, we had a Bible study years ago. Taffi was talkin' about the beginnings, but I remember when we were in Saturday night Bible studies at the church I was attendin'. I made a commitment to God that I would be every Saturday on time and I would preach no matter what. I would teach a Bible study. And I got up to preach one Saturday, and nobody was in the room.
Now, I'm gonna open up and tell you honestly what was goin' on with me. Nobody's in the room. It's 7 o'clock. I made a decision that I was gonna do this, but on the inside, all of a sudden, this challenge was goin' on with me, insecure, inferiority, "Maybe I wasn't supposed to do this in the first place. See, there, nobody's not even here. Where is God in this whole situation? Maybe you just need to quit and go do somethin' else. Nobody's even here". But I made a commitment to God. Biggest test in my life without me knowin' it was a test.
And so I said, "Well, angels are here. If y'all in the room, stand up, let's pray". And I continued to do what I was committed to do. And I prayed, and I said, "Well, I don't know if y'all sit down or not, but sit down and open the Bible up," and I started preachin'. I started preachin' to an empty room with empty seats. About five minutes later, my assistant at that time, Barbara Dorsey, walked in.
And when you walked in, the door was open this way so you couldn't see what was in the room, and she saw me teaching, and then came in and peeped over and she looked, "Well, ain't nobody in the room". I said, "Come on in here. You already gonna have to get the notes from the angels 'cause I'm not startin' back over again," and I just kept preachin'. I remember preachin' and tears comin' out of my eyes. But I said, "I've made this commitment to do this thing," and I did it. And the Word of the Lord came to me. He said, "And that'll be the last time that will ever happen to you.
Now I know you can be trusted. I can commit some stuff to your trust". I had just received the vision of World Changers Ministry in my bedroom. I was praying, and all of a sudden, this weird thing was goin' on. My eyes were opened, and I'm seeing these stick images go across my face, and I'm hearing the vision of the ministry. And the Lord said to me, "Now, listen to me carefully". And all of a sudden, the scene switched, and I went into a club here in Atlanta was called Mr. V's. Some of y'all remember Mr. V's, yeah. And I was in the club, and I saw my sister. I saw what she had on. I heard the conversations that were goin' on. When I came back from that vision, God says, "I showed you that so you will know that the first thing I showed you was of me". And so, it just blew my mind that night.
So she came in a little later on, and she had a coat on. I said, "Don't take your coat off". I said, "You have this color dress on or outfit on. You were talkin' to these people. Here was the topics of the conversation. You said it like that". She started cryin', said, "You gonna tell on me"? I'm like, "No, I just needed to know because now I know what I saw at the beginning was from God".
So, the next day, before anything started, he says, "All right, everything I tell you to do, do it". And so he said, "Get in the car and I'll tell ya where to go". And I got in the car. He said, "Turn right," did that. I mean, I got in the car literally not knowing where to go. I just got in the car. "Now, turn left, turn right". And after I finished just obeying where he was tellin' me to go, I ended up in the parkin' lot of the church that I attended. He says, "Turn the car off". I turned the car off and I just sat there. And sitting there for a moment, I just kinda, like, "Okay, so what's up"? I didn't hear anything.
Then I started kind of assuming certain things, somebody comin' out, "Well, maybe you want me to talk to them". "No". Somebody walkin' down the street, "Well, maybe you brought me up here to witness to them". "No". "Well, what'd you bring me up here for"? "Just sit". Then I sat and it started gettin' dark. And then he said, "Crank the car up and go back home". And I thought, "Man, that's the biggest waste of time ever". But you know what happened? He realized, "If I can trust you to do that, I can trust you and now you're ready to start a church. I can trust you with my people".
You see, this issue of trust is huge, not just to religiously say it. It is an issue of trust where you are willing to say, "I rely on you. I depend on you". I was on my way to Griffin to do my first, I don't know, the first invitation revival that I had, and it was great. I mean, you know, we probably had a crowd of under ten, and it was just, it was amazing. You understand, it was the biggest crowd I've ever seen. It was awesome, you know? I got a chance to stay in my first hotel, and it was a big deal, man, and I think I called Ken and that kinda helped me. But I think I called Ken, "Hey, man, come down here. You know, I'm here doin' my big meetin', you know"? "How many people come"? "I don't know, about five, but we gonna do it, man. We gonna do this thing". And went down there and did that first meeting, and I was just so excited.
So I was on my out. Only one problem, I was on E, and I was broke. I mean, when Taffi tells you, you know, all I had was promises, what she didn't tell you is the first time I proposed to her, she turned me down. I couldn't believe it. She turned me down on the bank of the park. "Will you marry me"? "Baby, what you gonna do for me? You drivin' your mama's station wagon". I'm like, "Yeah, she got a point there, but", "We can't live off love, so when you get your stuff together and all that, then, you know, ask me again," praise God.
And so, we were goin' to the door, and I was just walkin' to the door on E. "Where you goin'"? "I'm gettin' ready to go to Griffin". I ain't got no gas. The Lord said, "Go," and I started walkin', and I heard this door open, and comin' through the door was my godmother, Martha Thompson, and she stopped, she said, "Whew, oh, I'm glad I caught ya". I said, "Well, what happened"? She said, "I was sittin' there, and the Lord told me to hurry up and run out the door". And she opened my hand up and she said, "Here, he said you needed some gas money". And I said, it was enough gas money to fill my tank up to get down there and get back. That was the currency. The currency was trust. Are y'all hearin' what I'm sayin'? And so, when he talks about this thing about the least, can you be trusted? Can you be trusted?
Now, look at verse 11. He goes on and he says here: "'If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?'" Where's your trust? What kinda condition do you find your trust in today, and can he commit anything to your trust? And then in verse 12, he says: "'And if you have not been faithful in,'" or trustworthy, or dependable, "in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own"? That is so awesome.
Where in your ministry have you been dependable to somebody else? A lot of times we fail right there. We wanna hurry up and do us so quick that we fail to submit to the power of apprenticeship, somethin' that you can see the image, being exposed to somethin', that's a big issue today with young men around our country, the lack of exposure to where you're goin'. It's so important to be able to be, and sometimes you just don't wanna be exposed. You get exposed to the ultimate end of somebody's life that you often neglect the process that it takes to get from A to Z, and that's because a lot of people don't wanna wait, and, you know, you think you're gonna be on time.
But when and who were you faithful to? When and who were you faithful to? Who are you faithful to even now? Because if your faithfulness ends with you, that may explain a whole lot of issues that you might be goin' through in your life. Verse 13, he says: "'No servant,'" that includes everybody, all of us, "can serve two masters: for either he'll hate the one, love the other; or else he'll hold to the one, despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon".
So I wanna share these notes with you tonight before I begin to finish this teachin' because I think with verse 13, you really need to dig in in what's goin' on here. The objective is to uncover a demon spirit that's been in hiding for centuries, under the radar, hiding behind the norms and values of society. This word "mammon" here, we just easily translate it and say, "Well, you can't serve God and money".
The problem with that is you make money the enemy. And now, all of a sudden, money becomes the enemy, and money's neither right or wrong. It's just somethin' that's gonna be managed by whoever's drivin', who's doin' the driving where money is concerned. Money's gotten a bad rap. You know, kinda like meat. Meat has gotten a bad rap. Everybody think, "Well, if you eat meat, you know, somethin' wrong with you". No, the problem with meat is, is when the meat hasn't been properly fed and cared for and you done shot it up with chemicals and all that stuff. That's the problem with it.
But if you get some good old grass-fed meat that ain't messed with all that stuff, that's one of the best things you can get. You get stuff out of that meat, B12, and CLA, that you can't get out of just bein' a vegetarian. I'm just sayin'. You do you. Do what you need to do. But Jesus said, "Eat meat," praise the Lord. Well, you know? So, mammon is more than money. "Mammon" is an Aramaic word meaning "riches". And at the heart, there's an attitude that says, "Man doesn't need God. We're self-sufficient". And this is what the spirit of mammon tries to tell us: "You don't need God. Trust in riches. You don't need God. Trust in riches".
Now, that will deal with Christians as well. You go to church, and mammon convinces you, "You don't need God in this situation. Trust in riches". Mammon was the name of the Syrian God of riches and money. In fact, in Revelations 18, the city of Babylon shows a city or a world given over to the spirit of mammon with all of its greed and avarice. It was an unhealthy relationship and trust with the material world.
Now, you can serve mammon instead of serving God, but the verse of Scripture here says, "It's impossible to serve both at the same time". Why? 'Cause there's no middle ground. There's no middle ground here. So, all money either has the Spirit of God on it or the money has the spirit of mammon on it: what's impacting your money? It depends on what's impacting your life. If mammon is governing your life, when you pick money up, it's doin' the drivin'. It's gonna determine how that money's gonna be used. If God's drivin' your life, it's doin' the drivin'. It'll determine how that money's gonna use.
So in a biblical sense, the word "mammon" is "the spirit which rests upon money". It's that spirit that rests upon money. The people most under a spirit of mammon, 'cause I wanna show you, how do you know if you're under the spirit of mammon? The people most under the spirit of mammon tend to have the most fear about their money. You can really tell if you're under the spirit of mammon 'cause you're concerned about your money. That's why when they say, "It's offerin' time," you're sad at that saying because you have more fear about losing money because mammon is now tryin' to govern your life and say, "Don't give this money up to no church". And they'll create all kinds of narratives to try to stop you from doin' that.
So, how does mammon behave? Let's look at that for a moment. How does mammon behave? I believe that mammon is Satan, and that's why I said, "It's a mask on, tryin' to cover up the fact that it's really him". I believe mammon is Satan, and mammon is in direct contrast to the Spirit of God. Everything the Spirit of God stands for, mammon goes against. Mammon is in direct contrast to the Spirit of God.
Mammon says, "Buy and keep". God says, "Sow and reap". Look at the contrast there. Mammon: "Buy it, keep it". God: "Sow it, reap it". Mammon says, "Cheat and steal," but God says, "Give and receive". Mammon is looking for servants. It wants to rule your life and take the place of God. Mammon tries to take God's place by promising us everything that only God can give.
Mammon wants to try to get you to look at money and saying, "I can use money, and with money, you can get everything that God promises". For example, where security is concerned. Mammon wants to convince you that you don't need God for your security, that it can provide security for you. Mammon wants to convince you that it can provide significance for you, identity for you, independence for you, or a power and freedom for you. Mammon is selfish. God is generous. Mammon is selfish. God is generous.
Mammon either tries to insulate us from life's problems or it gets us to dwell on life's problems. So we know that money is not our security. So, if money's not our security, then you've please gotta understand as a Christian that God is your security. Say out loud, "God is my security, not money, not money". Say it again, "God's my security, not money".
So what do you miss out on when God tells you to do something and the money is not there and then you fail to step by faith in that thing? What are you missing out? Certain things that should have been born by now were aborted because you kept saying, "Well, I don't have the money. Where's the money coming". Your focus was on the money instead of your focus being on God your provider. What did he say? "I will provide all of your needs according to his riches and glory". But if you can't see where it's going to come from, you call it being a good manager of money, it's not this natural way of doing it.
If you're going to operate in the supernatural, you're going to have to step out like a bare-footed priest not knowing how it's going to happen, but knowing God said it. And you will be amazed the provision that will start showing up if you just take a step. If you'll just take a step, favor'll start showing up. You take a step, somebody call you saying, "You know, God told me to do this". You take a step, then money show up.
See, money can't do that but God can, but there's too much hesitation when God's telling you to do something because you're thinking, "Oh, the money. Where's the money? Where's the money"? I told somebody the other day, I don't believe we've ever had the money to do everything that God told us to do. We had to start first. So the only thing we could afford to do was call the commissioners and put a little ribbon out there and get a shovel and we could afford to dig a hole, and what we said was, "We started a dome".
Somebody says, "What are you talking about"? "We started it". "How"? "We dug a hole". That's paid for. That's paid for. And in some cases, you got to start right there. We dig a hole, praise the Lord, and rejoice over that hole that's been dug. Praise God. Then the money came in to clear the trees off. We cleared the trees off. Glory be to God. Then money came in, it was a glorious day when we poured the concrete. Oh my God, we poured it. It looked like a Roman Coliseum. We poured the concrete. I said, "Praise God, I'm walking on paid concrete". Glory to God.
Then they put the beams up all around it and then that little round thing at the top, and I'm like, "That's paid for". And then stuff started happening, "And that's paid". And so, "That's paid for". "That paid up". And when we marched in this building, we didn't march in a building that was just prayed for, we marched in the building that was just paid for; and we didn't know what that money was going to come from at that particular time, but we believed God. Supernatural things started happening. I mean, we had in the chapel and people started throwing money.
Brother John, in fact, it was Taffi, Brother John, and somebody else. I was just, you know, I don't know about no peace offering, I was just stressed out because we like, "If you don't have $2, $3 million by such and such time, we going to have to shut the whole thing down". And it costs more money. You shut it down, it's just sits there and stuff like that. They said, "You just take a break. We got this". And I never forget this thing. Taffi came up and she says, "I'm going to get my whole check". And I'm thinking like, "We got bills. What? Your whole check"?
The congregations followed. People had houses they were getting ready to close on. They had cars they were getting ready to buy. They canceled all of that. They gave their week's salary and begin to just give, and in that meeting before, I've never to this day seen anything like it. People were running to their cars getting money. People were running home to get money. The power of God came in that place so we were getting hittin' with coins and, we literally, keepers got us an umbrella. I'm not kidding. This is on tape. Got us an umbrella so we wouldn't get injured by the money that was flying.
And then Brother John came to me and he said, "Brother Creflo," he said, "do you think we need to stop the offering"? I said "Oh, no". He said, "Somebody could get injured. Listen, they're running over each other. They're flipping over each other trying to get to the offering to give". And he said, "They could get injured in a meeting like this". I said, "We will pray healing on them. Let's not call this overwith right now". How many of you were there or remember that? I mean, this is real. This happened. We didn't know, but we knew if we trusted God; that God will do something if we just take that step of, what's this, trust.
Trust is the currency. Trust brought the favor. Trust did all of that. You're not moved by what you see, you move by what he said and you trust what he said. You trust the provision that he said has already been put in place. Praise God. Doctor Grey Paul wrote this book, "Vision vs. Provision," and he got to preaching this message. He said, "I can tell you why you don't have provision. What's your vision"? And they couldn't tell. He said, "Well, you don't need no provision. You don't need no provision. Reason why you ain't got no provision 'cause you ain't got no vision. Get a vision and I'll talk to you later on". Man, so money is not our provision, God is.
Uncovering the spirit of mammon in your life now becomes very important. So how do I know if I'm operating under the spirit of mammon? When you do something wrong just to get the money, that's motivated by the spirit of mammon. What is it that you might be willing to do if the price is right? That's mammon. That's mammon. If God told you to do a work and he had only had 100 people, and somebody came and said, "We'll pay you a million dollars a year if you go do that". What? How? What's the price for you? What's the price that mammon can buy you out of obedience into something else?
If you think that money can solve your problems instead of God, then you're being motivated and influenced by the spirit of mammon. If you're thinking that money can solve your problems, you're motivated by the spirit of mammon. Listen to me carefully. If you think money can solve your problems, you're motivated by the spirit of mammon. See, it may give you a temporary solution that may blow up in your face a month later. Uh-uh, that's not going to do it.
When you don't get married for love anymore but for the security that is provided by money, then you're being motivated by the spirit of mammon. He can be ugly. "I don't care. He got that money. I'll figure out how to love him later". You're motivated by the spirit of mammon. You will use and exploit your friends if the price is right. That's the spirit of mammon. Oh, you don't mean to use them but, you know, subconsciously you use them to get ahead. You use them to get ahead. That's the spirit of mammon.
You know, I don't know how many of you are familiar with this, but people who are in ministry love when you have minister's conference because they show up at the conference not to get ministered to but to work the room. "Let me see if I can fill my schedule up". That's motivated by the spirit of mammon, motivated by the spirit of mammon. "I am not interested". You know what? To ask for a place to preach, that's just something that goes against everything we believe in. To ask for a place to preach when I can go and get me a barn somewhere and have me a meeting, I don't sit and wait on somebody to get me, I don't sit in my office, you know, "Are you finished with your yearly schedule yet"? "No, I'm waiting on them invitations to come in".
I'm not waiting on invitations. Jesus told me to go preach. He didn't say, "Wait until you get invitations then go preach". He said, "Go preach". And so that's how we started. We started preaching. I remember we didn't have no money, but our first convention I believe, correct me, was in Elyria, Ohio at a Holiday Inn. Dave, is that right? The Holiday Inn in Elyria, Ohio. The room, what? Maybe 50 people. It wasn't a big room 'cause we didn't expect: who is going to come? Who is going to come? Nobody know me. Who is going to come? We had all of the helpers. We couldn't afford a budget.
No, we put all our money together to get the biggest room they had. And everybody came in, we scattered around, people slept on the floor, and the guys were generous enough to say, "Well, pastor, you got to preach. You can go ahead and have the bed and we just", I mean, people were everywhere. It was like a football team. Just a bunch of dudes and we had a little thing then that everybody had to get up, was it 5 or 5:30? Five o'clock everybody praying. Five o'clock, at 2 minutes to 5:00, somebody would pray. And by 5 o'clock, the whole room. That's how we did it.
We had no buffet. We had no money. We had nothing but faith. We had nothing but trust. Do you understand what I mean? We had nothing. And we got there to that room and I got to tell you, I was shocked. I walked into this little room and it was jammed packed. Yeah, granted 50 people, but hey, at least we can say it was packed out. It was packed out. I mean, from here and then the first row was about right there, and that's how it started. That's how it started. It was a bunch of guys who just believed, and we believed that God would do what he said.
And we were walking together and they said, "This guy really believe it. Let's go and see if it works". Glory to God. And it worked, and he began to prosper us. We got a podium and they were able to get a sign, and it was just amazing to see God do that. Don't despise your small beginnings because God's getting ready to take you somewhere with greatness if you can depend on him. Now, we had to pay the hotel now. Everything we needed showed up.
We did the same thing with our first tour. We toured the world. We got on an airplane, with the fuel as expensive as it was, we got on an airplane. "Well, how are you going to do the fuel"? "God will take care of us". Well, how much was the fuel on the first league"? "Aah, about $80,000". "Okay, God is going to take care of us". He did. I'm telling you, God blessed us because we trusted him. So, who's driving your money, mammon or God? I mean, right now, today, who's driving your money? Who's the chauffeur of your money? Money is not the problem, the problem is who you got driving it, see?
So money can't buy everything, amen? I said money can't buy everything. Somebody says, "In my universe it can". You're in the wrong universe. Money can buy a house, but it can never, will never be able to buy a home. Money can buy medicine, it can't buy healing. Money can buy you a friend for the night, but it can't buy you a relationship that will last until Jesus comes. Are you listening to me?
So mammon has a voice. The voice of mammon speaks. Let me share this with you and then I'll get started. Mammon is always speaking to us trying to confuse us regarding God's principles. Mammon's ultimate objective is to try to get you to change your teaching and doctoring against him. The spirit of mammon talks to us, especially when we are trying to give to the Lord. The spirit of mammon talks to us, especially when we're trying to give to the Lord.
I want you to look at Mark chapter 10, verse 17 through 24. The spirit of mammon, anytime a situation comes up where you're trying to give as God directs you to give or trying to give to the Lord, mammon is always trying to talk to you, why? Because the spirit of mammon knows the way to be free from that voice of mammon is by giving and you're showing yourself faithful with money. Now, look what he says in verse 17. "And when he was gone forth unto the way, there came one running and kneeled to him and asked him, 'Good master,'" now watch what he asked, "'what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?'"
So he wanted to know, what do I need to do to inherit eternal life? And unfortunately, there are lots of Christians today that are still trying to find out what that they need to do to inherit eternal life. And so look what Jesus does in verse 18. "And Jesus said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.'"
Hear what he's saying? "Why don't you call me God? Why don't you call me God, indicating that you trust me? See, you're trying to figure out how to get somewhere and the real answer in the new covenant is going to be believe. But you won't call me God if you keep calling me good, and I'm telling you there's one that's good and that's God. So call me God. In fact, if you can call me God, don't call me good".
All right, now watch this. "And Jesus said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.'" Verse 19, "Thou knowest the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honor thy father and mother". Now, watch this lie. "And he answered and said unto him, 'Master, all these have I observed from my youth.'" Now, Jesus is getting ready to show him, "All right, now first of all, I wouldn't have to be telling you to keep all the commandments if you would just trust me as God, but now I'm going to answer your question based on how you ask it. You want to know what to do, I'm going to show you what to do. Keep the commandments".
And now watch this. So Jesus is going to test him 'cause he says, "I've done this from my youth," verse 21. All right, notice the test is going to be around money. Watch this. "Jesus beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, 'One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever you have to sell, convert it into money, then take it and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and take up the cross and follow me.' Can you trust me enough to do this where your money is concerned"?
Here's the test. He is going to show you everything you need to know about this guy who was peeping around, acting like he was so sanctimonious, lying that he kept all the laws, and now you're getting ready to see that he's going to have something greater than God: "Thy should never have no other God before me". You're going to see that he does that.
Now, see how he responded to this because the test was, let's see if you will trust me where money management is concerned. "Take your stuff, turn it into money, and then do what I tell you to do with it. Give to the poor". "Who's doing the driving with your money? Is it going to be mammon or is it going to be me"? His response, "He was sad at that saying. He went away". He was sad. He went away. He was sad. He went away grieved.
How many of you know grief is associated with loss? He went away because he saw managing this money as God instructed, he saw it as a loss rather than a gain. And there's so many Christians today, they see giving to the kingdom of God as a loss rather than a gain. Some of them would rather give to the stock market and make... see that as a sure thing than to give according to God's management. And God says, "Now, how can the much come into your hands when you can't even trust me where giving and receiving is concerned"?
And you want to say you want to be healed. You want to talk about how acknowledged you want to be. You want to talk about the blessings you want to walk in. And when the supernatural system, he says, "You can't go away sad and grieved". And it says, why? Why was he grieved? "For he had great possessions". I believe great possessions had him. I believe mammon had him.
Now, Jesus gives a commentary on this in verse 23. "And Jesus looked around about and he said unto his disciples, 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God?'" Now, the disciples responded to this because, listen to what he said. He said as if he was saying the problem is riches, but he comes back and he was very precise now. In the next verse he said, "And the disciples were astonished at his words".
Now, why would the disciples be astonished at what he just said? What he just said was, it's going to be hard for somebody who has money or riches to enter in the kingdom of God. If the disciples were poor, they should have jumped up celebrating, "Woo, we're on our way to heaven". but the Bible says they were astonished at the words that he spoke, why? Look at his disciples. They had money. "But Jesus answered again and saith unto them, 'Children, how hard is it for them that,'" watch this, "trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God"?
So he's saying, let me be clear. The riches, the money is not the issue. The issue is who's managing it, and if your trust is in money, if your trust is in money, you know, right here I'm thinking about a Scripture that really will explain this. Go to 1 Timothy chapter 6 and 10, 1 Timothy chapter 6 and 10, and then we'll come back to this one. 1 Timothy 6 and 10. I'm sure most of you have heard this Scripture. "For the love of money is the root of all evil". You've heard the narratives from the world and from religious people.
What did they say here about this Scripture: money is the root of all evil? Have you heard that before? Money is the root of all evil. That's nowhere in the Bible, but people have taken the narrative money is the root of all evil. So if you have any or if you trying to get any or if you're making money, remember now money is the root of all evil, and I could never understand that. Why are you saying money is the root of all evil and you got a job out there trying to get some evil stuff? If it's evil, it's evil for everybody.
So why is it that it's not evil until you get to a certain level or a certain amount? The truth about it is money is not evil or good. It's based on what spirit's doing the driving, and here's what he said. "The love of money". Love's a relational word. "A wrong relationship with money is the root of all evil". So what is a wrong relationship with money? It is when you trust money more than you trust God, and an individual that trusts money more than he trusts God is an individual that is governed and influenced by mammon that's driving him to trust stuff more than he trusts God.
So you see the money as your sufficient supply house, and God is your supply house. And to trust money more than you trust God, it is a wrong relationship with money. God did not give you money, the creation, for you to trust it and let it govern your life, but that's where a lot of people are and, unfortunately, preachers are the same way. A wrong relationship with money where you trust money more than anything or, not only trust it, but where you fear it or you fear to talk about it.
There's something wrong with a pastor who's pastored a church for any length of time and has never taught a financial message to his congregation to show them how to have a right relationship with money. How else are you supposed to have a right relationship with money unless somebody teaches you the right relationship with money? I've been preaching on the gospel for maybe going on 10 years and, you know, the same narrative is out there? "Creflo Dollar, all he talk about is money". You just told me everything I need to know about you. You don't listen to me. But can God trust you to even impart the right relationship with finances so people can know how to trust God where their finances are concerned?