Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:8-9 ESV)
The other day as I sat in my VW bug, a ridiculously expensive car drove by me and I muttered under my breath, ‘Oh Lord, what would it be like to be independently wealthy?’
No sooner had the words left my mouth when I realized what an oxymoron ‘independently wealthy’ was:
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. (1 Samuel 2:7 ESV)
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:10-11 ESV)
No one is truly ‘independently wealthy’ as everything is the Lord’s and He distributes His wealth accordingly. Not to get that confused with ‘name it and claim it riches’, no, He has made it clear throughout Proverbs the importance of hard work. But, truthfully, I know how thankful I am for being born and raised in North America, enjoying a higher standard of living than a lot of the world. And besides, when it comes to being independently wealthy, where in the Word does it say that we are supposed to be independent anyhow? From what I’ve read, we are to lean on Him!
But, to be honest, there have been times when I believed that I would be a more effective Christian if I were rich. In fact, I’ve counseled the Lord, telling Him of all the good I could do if He were to just dump a pile of extra cash in our laps . . . I could quit my day job and do some mission trips. I could help others who were struggling. I could spend unlimited time in the Word. I know several people who are free of financial pressures and the Lord has used them immensely! Why not me too? (Hmmmm, perhaps the very fact that I was playing counselor to the Lord is a clue . . .)
Thankfully, sitting in the car the other day the Lord brought to mind the verse, give me neither poverty nor riches and allowed me a chance to repent for the fleeting, coveting moment. He has blessed me with enough . . . and that is more than enough!
Father, I thank You that You are a rich and loving God. Forgive us for believing that we should be hungry or desperate for anything else than more of You. Help us to walk with the joyful knowledge that You loved us so much, that you made us dependent on You for everything. Amen.
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