Enslaved by mammon?
How do you feel when you don’t have money, when there’s not even any on the horizon? And, how about when this state of lack is coupled with the pressure of urgent, unpaid, and long-overdue bills?
At such times, are your feelings negative: terrified, panicky, irritated, depressed, insecure, helpless, and desperate?
Or are they positive: excited, expectant, hopeful, peaceful, and confident?
You see, how you feel in times of emptiness, is an important measure of your level of freedom from (and dominion over) the spirit of this world, mammon.
If your feelings, each time your coffers empty, are negative, you’ve become enslaved by mammon. This is a disease of the soul, which must be taken very seriously if you value your walk with God. It is a call to draw near to God; to build up your faith and confidence in Him.
A very basic step in this direction is emptying. You use emptying to defeat the fear of emptiness, and its rule over you.
The fear of emptiness
Fear is a very terrible thing. According to the bible, satan uses people’s fear of death — that is, the fear of loss, or emptiness — to hold them in slavery.
"…those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." ~Hebrews 2:15
The fear of emptiness is that inner feeling of panic associated with the prospect of not having enough money to face life’s challenges. This fear is quite oppressive, and can lead to all sorts of slaveries: financial, emotional, relational, and even spiritual.
You can only defeat this fear, and extricate yourself from it’s tyrannical grip, by employing the mystery of emptying.
To empty is to give all.
Voluntary emptying, defeats fear and bondage
What has a dead man got to fear?
As long as you hold on to material things, the fear of emptiness will continue to dominate your consciousness, and rule over you. It will continue to terrorize you with the prospect of it’s no longer being there.
Mammon is a spirit. In fact, it is a god; a tyrannical god. It seeks to rule your soul. It craves your allegiance. The moment you treasure and hoard it, you have elevated it’s status, and as it were, built a throne for it in your heart. The better to send it on errands, reminding it that you are the boss. Learn to give it all out on a regular basis. This will weaken, and ultimately destroy it’s grip on your soul.
Not quite long ago, sitting in my study, I got a call from someone that wanted to send me some good amount of money. As soon as he mentioned the amount he was sending to me, my heart leapt with happiness. Frankly speaking, I was shocked at myself for this. Then I became equally disgusted with my excitement over money.
Instantly, I decided to deal with this by subjecting myself to a prolonged season of fasting. This time, not from food, but from money!
So, I embarked on a cash-fast. I decided not to have any money on me; to give it all out to God and to others.
At first, it was quite difficult; but I was determined.
Then, after the first six months, I noticed that it no longer felt difficult. In fact, I began to feel happier with having no cash on me, than with having any. Initially, this actually had me so worried that I voiced my concerns to my wife.
"I’ve noticed that I don’t feel happy when there’s money in my pocket," I said to her. "But as soon as I give it all out and feel that emptiness, happiness floods my being. What and why is that?" I asked her.
Then it hit me!
I had tapped a great secret of freedom and dominion. Emptying, somehow, breaks the strangle-hold of mammon upon the soul, liberating you from it’s slavery. It was such an exhilarating experience for me.
Giving is a key to developing your divinity and inner spiritual strength
Through sacrificial giving — what I have referred to here as the mystery of emptying — you can deliberately push yourself through a season of lack in order to develop your freedom from (and dominion over) the state of emptiness. Through the ages, this has been one of the greatest secrets to the phenomenal spiritual dominion of great men and women of God.
See, for instance, the testimony of Paul.
11 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
~ Philippians 4:11-13
Pay careful attention to what Paul is actually saying here. Notice he is referring here to a secret that he learned. He had to learn it, because he wasn’t born with that knowledge. And by referring to it as a secret, he lets us know that this isn’t something that is easily known or understood.
In Verse 13 he points to a divine potential: Christ – see KJV. This divinity within, he asserts, enables him to do ‘everything.’
Now, did he mean that he could walk on water? That he could fly? That he could raise the dead, and rise from the dead?
Yes. He means all of that; and more.
However, Paul’s declaration is framed within a particular context: that of being content in plenty and in want. Through the power within, the Apostle tells us, his inner state is never affected by having or not having.
This is peace.
In the course of my spiritual journey, I have discovered a direct link between great faith and fearless giving. The ability to consciously empty yourself of all cash on a consistent basis — as a matter of choice and habit — is linked with great faith.
You can deliberately develop your faith, trust, and confidence in God by a continuous process of emptying yourself of all cash.