Day 17

 

The Scripture

Direct those who are rich in this present age not to be proud or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God—who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  – 1 Timothy 6:17

Heart Thoughts

I will never forget the opening paragraph to a little but important book by Tim Keller that says:

Most people spend their lives trying to make their heart’s fondest dreams come true. Isn’t that what life is all about, “the pursuit of happiness”? We search endlessly for ways to acquire the things we desire, and we are willing to sacrifice much to achieve them. We never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us. - Keller, Timothy. Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters (p. 1).

After 20 years of walking with the Lord, I have learned to thank God for His “no’s” just as much as His “yes’s.”  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for God stopping me from getting what I wanted. Often what I wanted would have eventually moved me and my family further and further from God’s purpose for my life.

Rabbi Paul says in this passage that the real problem with having lots of success with money is that it gives you a big head.  You think that because you have been successful with money you are competent to speak on any number of issues that you may or may not be qualified to speak on. Just because you can use “the Google” does not make you an expert.  More than that, Rabbi Paul says that if your dream is just an endless amount of money, if that is your deepest desire then you are standing on shifting sand, uncertain terrain.

The greatest goal of our, the most satisfying dream should be God himself. When He is the greatest desire of your life it is easy to not get a big head, it is easy to let His “yes” be your “yes” and His “no” your “no.”  When Lauren and moved from Chicago to Dallas in 2005 we had put a deposit down on our soon-to-be dream home. It was the perfect lot. The perfect home builder. The perfect location. We were building from the ground up. We were so happy, and we could not wait to see the house get built. Yet, something happened that caused me to have some red flags. Things avalanched from there and looked like we would lose the home. My wife and I prayed, quoted the Bible and rebuked every demon you could imagine. Nothing changed, we lost the home.

We had our eyes on the wrong thing. As that home was lost, God opened another house. It was an older home, in an older neighborhood, cost significantly less but had more square footage, a pool and a sunroom we could change into a study. We will never forget that house. It was our dream house. It was right near my work, my wife’s work, my Master’s degree and the neighborhood was amazing.  On the other hand, that other neighborhood where we were going to by that other house got overran with crime. One time a Nazi symbol was spray-painted on the garage next to the house we were going to build. People lost lots of money on the homes in that area.

God humbled us. Took us back to relying on Him. Relying on His “yes” and His “no.” Learning to accept that He knows perfectly well what will help us and what might hurt us.

Prayer

May the Lord God of Israel give you the courage to abandon the uncertainty of riches and cleave closely to the Messiah. May you experience both the blessing of His “yes” and of His “no.”

For the Feed

God humbled us. Took us back to relying on Him. Relying on His “yes” and His “no.” Learning to accept that He knows perfectly well what will help us and what might hurt us.