What’s the Difference Between a “Bag Life” & a “Basket Life”?
Deuteronomy 28:4-6, NLT: Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.
Baskets were common items in ancient culture. They were used to gather, haul or keep large quantities of food. Having a full basket was the equivalent of having a full pantry, or a full bank account…one that is more than enough to cover your needs. We’re not talking paycheck-to-paycheck living—we’re talking about generous living where you have enough left over to share.
Jesus gives an interesting description of a basket in Luke 6:38 (NLT): “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.” What he’s describing is a custom where a poor person would come up to a rich landowner at the time of harvest. He would bring his basket, and as an act of charity and faithfulness, the rich man would fill the poor person’s basket…but he wouldn’t just fill it halfway. He wouldn’t even just fill it to the top. It was more like when you go to the soda fountain and you get to fill it yourself—you know what I’m talking about! You fill that cup to the top! Then you let the foam settle…and you fill it again! Let the foam settle. Take a sip and start all over.
We fill our own cups to overflowing at the fountain, and that’s how the rich man filled the poor person’s basket. They filled it, shook it, pressed it down and filled it to overflowing. This is a picture of how God wants to fill our lives when we come to him with open, trusting hearts. It’s not a bag full of holes that’s never enough; it’s a basket, overflowing that is more than enough.
So how do we move from bag life to the basket life? We just need to jump back one verse in Deuteronomy 28:2 (NLT): You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God. The way you move from the bag mindset to basket mindset is this: you trust God. Notice that in the bag mindset, we fill it up, we put in our wages, it’s all on us and about us; but in the basket mindset, God fills the basket.
When you begin to perceive that all of your resources are flowing from God, you begin to trust him, and the way you express that trust is by giving. Giving is what unleashes blessing. As God fills up your basket, you give him back the first part of what he pours in.