Love triangles are a common plot in drama serials. I love you, you love him, he loves her, she loves me; and sometimes, in this complicated mix, is thrown someone who is torn between two lovers.

Didn’t Mary MacGregor sing, ‘Torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool’? When you are torn between two lovers, you do feel like a fool, don’t you? Unless you are in Hollywood, I guess; then you won’t be a fool, you’d be a hero.

But if you are, torn between two lovers, what then should you do? Because, as the next line says, ‘Lovin’ both of you is breakin’ every rule’.

No, I’m not here to discuss romance. But I am here to bring your attention to the fact that as believers, as children of God, we also have the potential to get caught in a love triangle and find ourselves ‘torn between two lovers’.

You see, Jesus said,

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).” Matthew 6:24 [AMP]

Ah ha, the penny drops. There are conflicting parties vying for your attention, God and mammon; or in another words, deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in. And Jesus was right, you can’t serve two masters. There will come a time when their interests will be in conflict, then what do you do?

But here comes the confusion. Didn’t Jesus say,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

And “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

In fact, “…your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things….” Matthew 6:32

So why have God and provision suddenly come into direct conflict with each other? Isn’t provision a result of God’s love?

Well, beloved, if you think like that, then you are absolutely right. Provision is most definitely a result of our Father’s love for us. What Jesus is warning us about is not to get to carried away and start chasing after it.

You know, if you have been an ‘observant’ Christian for long enough, you would have realized that this world and our Father’s world are polar opposites. In this world, everything decays. But in our Father’s world,

“…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”” Revelation 21:4

Yet, when we look around us, we see lots of people obsessing over fads, things that will pass away and go out of fashion.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We need the things of the world. We need clothes, we need food, we need a roof over our heads, we need transportation. I’m not suggesting that we forgo all that and start a colony.

But the question I’m asking is, should we be obsessing over it?

And that’s the point, isn’t it? Obsessing. For as Jesus said,

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20

There was this time when Jesus told us a story.

“The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’” Luke 12:16-19 [MSG]

Sound guiltily familiar does it not? When we receive blessings, favor and provision, we lose sight on the giver and our eyes are set on the gift.

But all too soon, something happens, someone passes, the economy slumps or

“…God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’” Luke 12:20 [MSG]
Indeed, “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.” Luke 12:21 [MSG]

You know, many Christians always see this verse as a killjoy.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

How impractical. What a sourpuss. Spoken like someone who has nothing and wants everyone else to have nothing as well, right?

Well, not quite. For when you consider to what John was referring to,

“Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts]…” 1 John 2:15 [AMP]

Then you see that this advice is really quite sensible. Just as not every plant in a field of grain is grain, so too are there things in this world that are bad for us. Our job is to stay away from the things that are bad for us. Things like what?

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16

Now that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

But let’s be honest. If we are so wise and discerning to be able to distinguish good from evil, sin wouldn’t even have had a chance to come into the world, much less take over it, true? Fact is, ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life’ always disguise themselves as something completely harmless, maybe even good for us. And couple that with the world’s effective advertising of its sinful pleasures, it starts to make the bad things sound good.

So how are we going to make sure that we are not pursuing sinful pleasures? How are we going to know that what we are going for are good? Well, it’s simple really, just remember this.

“For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:32-33

If your mom makes a killer stew, how are you going to know that you are getting the right cut of meat and the best brand of seasoning for your stew? You ask her.

If your dad makes stunningly good furniture, how are you going to know that you are getting the right wood and the right tools for your project? You ask him.

So how are you going to know that whatever you get is going to benefit you? You ask your heavenly Father.

You see, when Jesus, and later John, tell us to not get obsessed with the things of the world, what they are really saying is, there are many bad things out there, and you need to be aware of that. But because you are yet young and inexperienced, you can’t tell right from wrong. So be careful who you get your advice from. Now that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

So beloved, who are you going to get your advice from? The world, whose agenda is not you; or your heavenly Father who loves you? What are you going to obsess over? The things of the world that will pass away, or the things from God that will always stay? The choice is simple really, so please, choose wisely.

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