Joy of the Lord

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;S)’> that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of lifeAC)’> about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.AE)’> 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?AG)’> was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?AI)’> 33 But seek first his kingdomAK)’> 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6

When  you consider the great men and women of Christendom, you don’t see a lot of rich guys. Jesus said it was tough for the rich to get into the kingdom. The rich young ruler was gung ho for Jesus until he was asked to give up his riches. Why is that?

Jesus wants us to recognize His dependence on Him. That’s a lot easier for the poor man than it is for the fat wallet dude. This kept happening with Israel. When God would bless them, they would focus on the blessings, forget where they came from and end up in captivity where they had no one to rely on but God. He kept them in the dessert for forty years, not because he forgot about them, or didn’t remember how to get to the promised land, or really even to punish them, He wanted a people who saw they were dependent on Him.

Abraham was pretty rich, but God kept Him childless for years until it would take a miracle for the promise of God that Abraham would father a nation to become real. It’s tough for the rich guys. 

We recognize the error in the prosperity gospel that teaches, directly or indirectly, that God wants you to be rich. His children will all be rich one day, when we can see Him and our dependence on Him will be obvious. A few of his children will learn to recognize Him as provider even when they have a bunch, but not most of us, not in this life.

Even as churches we preach dependence on God, but expect to own buildings and property without mortgages and to have 6 figure money market accounts. Are those really the best churches? Are the leaders of those mega-palaces examples of God dependence or big donor dependence. Ask any Pastor and he will tell you most big money comes with strings, strings of privilege or control. It’s ridiculous to ask a congregation of folks with mortgages and car payments and health insurance bills to give sacrificially, so the church and its leaders don’t have to. 

We marvel at the missionaries who are never rich and who seem to live as day to day as anyone. We marvel at their faith, their recognition of their dependence on God. They blow away the folks they minister to by their faith, love and dependence on God. 

Read the sixth chapter of Matthew. If necessary, read it every day, until your spirit recognizes your dependence on God. If you aren’t sure where your next paycheck or meal is coming from, give thanks. Your heavenly Father loves you enough to want you to recognize Him as the source of all good things; not your bank account, your rich uncle, the government or the guy sitting in the front row of your church waving his checkbook at you during the sermon. Most of them already know who they are dependent upon.

Recognize your dependence and be blessed.