Overcoming the Root of All Evil
A Fresh Look at the Money Issue
“The love of money is the root of all evil.”
I Tim. 6:10 KJV
Some scriptures are so familiar that it’s easy to become immune to receiving any deeper meaning or application regarding them. The Lord’s famous statement about the love of money is, I believe, one of them. Most of us are pretty confident we understand what it means to not love money. “Everybody knows” you shouldn’t love money.
But do we really have it down that well? Does “just don’t do it” cover the bases for us? I’d like you to think with me for a minute about the properties of loving God. Do we have that all down too, or is there more for us to learn? Can these properties teach us something deeper about our relationship to money?
In Matthew 6, the Lord pitted our love for Him directly against our love of money. Meanwhile Paul called the love of money the “root of all evil.” That’s pretty serious. It suggests that if there is anything deeper to learn about loving God, it probably has some kind of direct bearing on this arch combatant against it, the love of money.
Well, what do we know about loving God? First, we know that loving God entails an ongoing process of maturity. Love grows. It is dynamic. If loving God involves an ongoing maturing, do you suppose this might have bearing on our relationship to its opposite, the love of money?
As the “root of all evil,” love for money includes both money’s evil personal pull within our own flesh and its external corporate empowerment of the world’s systems. Growing in love for the Lord should produce a corresponding growing hatred for money’s remaining influence in our flesh and its operation throughout creation.
If our love of God is to grow, it only follows that so must our hatred of money. We should expect to face ever deeper and more significant challenges regarding overthrowing its influence on us. Money love is no more static than loving God. We can’t just assume we “don’t love money” just because we agree with the verse that says we shouldn’t. (If you are flippantly quick to avow you do not love money, it is almost certain that you do.)
Looking further into loving God, we discover another property. Love not only grows. It is also authoritative.
In pitting our love for God against our love for money, the Lord proceeded to describe the conflict in terms of authority. He said, “You can’t serve God and money.” This is just one verse of many that teaches the authority of love. What we love is what we serve and is what has authority over us—whether the Lord or money.
As lovers of God, we’re simply not allowed to be enslaved by money. But what are the implications of this in the face of a growing love? If love for God is both growing and authoritative, then money’s dominion–in us and through the world—should diminish. How many ways are there you suppose that we love money? And in how many ways does the root of all evil still wield dominion over us?
This means enslaved from within by our fears and desires. It also means enslaved from without by indebtedness to others.
But that’s not the end of authority. Love doesn’t just grow in authority over us. It also grows in authority through us. Let’s understand this. We are empowered by the power that we serve. The story of the centurion makes this clear. The centurion had authority by means of the authority he was under. And the Lord agreed. If we serve God, we become empowered by God. (And if we serve money, we become empowered by money, part of its operational kingdom.)
But now throw in the fact that we’re talking about combating forces. If we are a “kingdom” people whose growing love for God yields love’s increased authority through us, and if our love of God is pitted against the love of money, does it not follow that our love should be increasing in dominion over all that pertains to and is built on this root of all evil—both within us and thence to conquer and destroy the entire world system built on it?
Does this make sense? Do you suppose the Lord might have more revelation to give us about all this?
Anyway—just for starters—I believe we can deduce two things from these simple realistic observations. We can safely say that growing in the love of God should produce:
1) deliverance from our own personal subjection to the desires for and fear of money, and
2) authority to attack, subdue and replace the corrupt earthly system of exchange now based on the love of money.
Take No Thought
But how workable is this, really?
The hardest thing about being earthbound lovers of God is that we have been born into a world run by the very principle we were born to hate—the love of money. We are expected to grow and mature against the pressure of this worldwide money-love system.
Well, this hurts. It hurts a lot. The struggle we face daily concerning money is exceeding painful. It’s not just about whether we have it or not. No matter how much or little money we have, we all find ourselves struggling against our relationship to it. It’s not about what we actually have on hand. It’s about our consciousness and awareness concerning what we do or don’t have on hand. It’s about our minds, our attitudes. It’s about our thoughts.
We struggle because, though we are of God, our natural thought force regarding possession, need and obligation regarding money—and which stokes our desires and fears—this force belongs to the root of all evil.
In contrast to this, Jesus said “take no thought” about what we would put on, eat, drink, etc. Well what? Is He crazy? He births us into a world that operates by means of trade for acquiring everything needed for survival and then says “take no thought” in acquiring it?
What then? Is provision supposed to fall out of the sky onto my body and into my mouth? Is He saying we no longer have to participate in the world trading system for obtaining provision? And if He’s not saying that, well, don’t I have to use my brain to make a transaction and count change??
No, Jesus isn’t taking us out of the physical trading system. That’s obvious from other scriptures. Even Jesus kept a treasury and received donations to spend on food purchases and room rentals! He had bills to pay. And He had to use his brain to count whether He had enough fish and loaves or would He need a miracle. Yet surely in doing this there was no spot of money love in Him.
So what can he possibly mean, “take no thought?” In this context, the only real way possible to “take no thought” for money is to have your own power of thought replaced by someone else’s!
And that is exactly the point. We must have our thought process regarding money replaced by His power of thought. Our sense of need which births our thoughts of money must be replaced by the indwelling sense of His all-sufficiency. Only in this way can we be defensively delivered from the love of money and grow in the love of God. And only in this way can we also offensively subdue and root out the evil of the current system that is coming to harvest in the earth.
Here is a true mystery. The Lord wants us to become dispossessed of everything but Him. And He wants us to possess everything by Him.
Be Renewed by the Transforming of your Mind
So the only way we can ultimately overcome the love of money is to have our minds replaced by His mind, the mind of Christ. Our struggle against the money system was designed solely for the purpose of implanting His mind into us.
Some day the money system will be done away. It will be manifestly overcome and destroyed. The question is, will we have developed into the fullest possible maturity of God’s love through the struggle against the system that lay before us all our lives? At the end, what share in having defeated that system within and without will we be able to lay claim to?
Surrendering Our Sense of Need
Having our mind replaced by His mind over the issues of natural possession begins with surrendering our sense of need before His face. It means surrendering all the ugly feelings of fear, desire and insufficiency we face in our daily situations as we are confronted by apparent lacks of supply.
We must take these awarenesses to the cross in worship. We need to release ourselves to Him daily over our perceived needs, until our awareness of need is swallowed up and overpowered by our awareness of His love. This is extremely hard to do. It is costly. It is so hard to let go of certain thoughts. “How will it come? What if it doesn’t?” These are the ever-present signature doubts that expose our innate love of money.
"But should we not pray over our needs? Should we not 'make our requests known'” as Paul says?
Yes. But how this is done makes all the difference. Here’s the issue: is our praying truly working surrender to His love? Or is it reinforcing our sense of need? Are we merely begging in the name of praying? If our praying is not effecting surrender of our awareness of need, then we are not truly praying. We are only “worrying by faith.”
Acquiring His Sense of Ownership
Having our natural sense of need washed out is only step 1 in obtaining the mind of Christ over money. Our love for God—and His mind in us—is living, growing and authoritative. Not only are we to become delivered from our own thoughts over money, but we are to acquire His mind for dominion of the earth and defeat of the money system by responding to the godly vision and dreams for possession He has appointed to us.
Indeed. God has planted holy vision in us for obtaining earthly resources. Such vision for obtaining earthly resources is not contrary to his plan to deliver us from our own thought power over money. It complements it!
How? Divine vision for obtaining earthly resource actually forces us into more confrontation with the money system! By increasing our contact with the system, it exposes yet more places where we need to be delivered from our own money-loving thought power.
But beyond this, these divine visions for earthly possession put us on the spiritual offensive in the earth. They bring God to bear in the earth through us—His mind in ours, taking dominion over the earth through us—dominion through subjection of our encounters with trade to the inner power of worship! God rules through us as we exercise the power of worship over every transaction that we make.
As we accept the challenge to believe Him over the earthly resources He has planted vision for, it only works to perfect our love, exposing deeper areas of our sense of need (our thinking), and replacing that much more of our minds with His—onward, upward in dominion for His sake. We engage the money system, not out of cowering fear of it, but out of holy hatred toward it. We put the system on notice that its days are numbered!
Poverty or Prosperity?
Anyone who has spent more than a few years in the Lord is likely familiar with the poverty-prosperity teaching wars in the church, including the prophetic church. These wars heated up when the Faith & Prosperity Movement came on the scene some 30 years ago. One side of the church teaches on sanctification through poverty. The other teaches on dominion through prosperity. And each takes its well-aimed shots at the other.
The truth concerning these presentations is that both are correct yet both are incomplete. Some badly needed perspective is required to rectify the situation.
“He that forsakes all….”
It’s time to face up to it. A sanctified spirit of earthly poverty is the foundational spirit of the Christian heart. The majority problem in the church is not that people have or give too little, but that they keep too much and remain governed by the consciousness of need with its fears and greed. They remain slaves to the love of money. (Latest surveys indicate the church in America gives away less than 3% of its income.)
Before we can talk about “possessing for God,” we need to know what it means to give up for the Lord. The problem with 90% of prosperity teaching is that it ignores the fundamental need for deliverance and washing from the intrinsic love of money and “need consciousness” that infests the unsanctified soul. As a result, it reinforces covetousness and the love of money.
Teachings featuring flamboyant ministers flashing brilliant jewelry, or Christian marketing companies offering promises of wealth, teaching followers to “visualize their dreams” are enemies of the gospel and the cross of Christ, and are an abomination to the Lord.
Poverty of soul and possession is the first lesson of discipleship. It is the beginning of mature stewardship. Why does the Lord repeatedly speak blessing to the poor? And why is it that everywhere the Lord and the apostles speak of the “rich,” they do so disparagingly? Let’s get with it. The lesson is too obvious to miss. A holy hatred for money and earthly possession is fundamental to loving God alone.
That many of us still struggle with poverty is for our own good. We can’t be safely entrusted with possessions for the Lord’s kingdom without first finding deliverance from the inbred dependence on the need to have.
This doesn’t mean the Lord wants us to be left in poverty. But until we learn to make the surrender on our own to accepting the value of inward poverty, He is unlikely to lift us out of it circumstantially. Until we come to the place where we can say, “Lord, whom have I in heaven but you, and there is nothing on earth I desire beside you,” we are not ready for natural prosperity.
“…shall have lands and houses”
But poverty is not the end of the Lord’s intent for us, nor does our remaining there indefinitely continue to grow us into His love and freedom from the love of money.
God has also ordained His people to become a people of manifest authority in the earth. This includes authority over the earth’s resources. It’s interesting. In the same way the Lord disparages the rich, He also makes much of the actual using of money as a barometer of discipleship including the wise investing of it for producing a return. And it is here that the prosperity people are right on target.
There is a difference between a sanctified spirit of poverty (“blessed are the poor”) and a poverty mentality (“Woe is me. I guess God just wants us all to be poor.”) God specifically condemned the poverty mentality in the parable of the talents. The man who failed to invest because he was afraid was a man dominated by the poverty mentality.
The poverty mentality appears holy. But it is a parody on the true spirit of poverty. The poverty mentality is the fear of money. As such, it is still the love of money—only in reverse. The Lord does not want us to serve money positively, or negatively. He does not want us to either fear money (ie, to be motivated by it), or to be afraid of it.
The truth is God has planted in our spiritual genetics vision for stewardship of the earth’s resources. These visions are part of our inheritance in Him. Paul says we inherit all things in Christ. This is not just the things of heaven. It is also the things of earth. Jesus said that those who forsake all for Him should expect “lands and houses” in this life (even if with persecutions) as well as eternal life.
These “lands and houses” refer to His possession of the earth through us. These are not our possessions! They are His—executed through His filling of us with Himself. The Lord expects an earthly return on his spiritual investment in us. This training in dominion of earthly resources is part of our ongoing sanctification in preparation for immortality.
God’s purpose for prosperity through discipleship is pictured in Abraham, the Father of Faith. Please note that Abraham was not a poor man in the natural sense. But as the Father of Faith, he nonetheless had proven His love for God above all possessions by His willingness to give up his only son. The possessions meant nothing to him. Yet they were a testimony to his authority in the earth.
Today’s numerous prophecies and visions of a “Daniel” and “Joseph” people in the earth are not for nothing. Poverty-mentality holiness, mystic, deeper life and hermit commune advocates need to recognize their fear of money for what it is, and dare to grow their love in God through engaging the system, whether through business or otherwise. Prosperity is the superstructural reality that completes the foundational reality of Poverty. If we truly claim to love God, we will come out of the closet and apply our worship to defeat the money system in the open arena.
If there is any sense of passion behind this writing, it is because I personally have struggled and continue to overcome in my own good fight of faith. For several years now I have been burdened by our need as a people to grow to the place of ultimately thrusting out the money system of the earth. The love of money is the root of all evil—in us, and in the earth at large. The call is on us, to be washed of it within, and to evict it from the earth without.
I have also been challenged with life long dreams for certain natural acquisitions from the Lord that will not go away, and which presently define why I am where I am in the earth. I have answered the call to acquire through worship by His Possession of me. And I continue to receive understanding by this to pass on to others.
A showdown is coming soon between the final money system and the Lord’s people. The last contest in Revelation that precipitates victory over death and the Lord’s bodily return is the direct contest between the lovers of God and the worshippers of the worldwide money system with its promise of social security (ie, the “beast”). Many of us will lose our lives for the Lord at the height of this confrontation. But in the midst, God will also evidence His prosperity apart from and in victory over that system.
Don’t think to wait for some mark or implanted chip to appear before you have to enter this contest. Don’t think to wait for some edict restricting your freedom of worship before this is an issue to you. The conflict is now. The beast is now. The time to defeat our fear of and subjection to the worldwide debt-credit- welfare-social security-banking/legal system is now. Now is the time to hone your love of God against the beast.
Can you handle this?
Your destiny in Christ depends on it.
Riverside, Rhode Island USA
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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