Friday, March 18, 2016

God's Enough is Our Enough

UV 1702/10000 God’s Enough is Our Enough
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
Proverbs 10 v 15

Scripture does not condemn riches nor does it celebrate poverty. God is not against the prosperity of people. In fact, scriptures says that He has plans to prosper us and not to impoverish or harm us. Abraham, a man of faith had cattle on a thousand hills. He was asked not to receive any spoils of war from the king of Sodom lest the latter claimed that he had made Abraham rich. For the Lord had blessed Abraham in many ways including earthly possessions. Poverty, however, is the bane of humanity. Jesus warned the rich from trusting in their uncertain riches that could not save them from death and judgement. We are admonished not to place our confidence in riches. Wealth also whets one’s appetite further to long for even more. It is insatiable. We are never satisfied as we do not know how much is enough. The believer in contrast should say and act on this belief,”God’s enough for me.” His grace is sufficient for us. God’s enough is our enough. We are contented with what He gives us from time to time. He meets our every need and gives us enough to give for the need of others. Our confidence is “ I shall not want” or lack in anything good that is needed. Our focus is not on the “moolah” , the silk and money but the “milk and honey” or the nourishment, strengthening, growth and fruitfulness of our inner being by the satisfaction of our need.

Wealth acquired through honest, honourable and legitimate means is a source of blessing as long as we trust in the Lord, find our security in Him and are grateful to Him for our earthly blessings- every one of them. But the source of tension is whether we place our love in riches- whether we cherish it more than our love for the Lord. Jesus said, “ Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” We need to acknowledge like Job that what the Lord has given, He can take away. We need to understand that we came into the world naked and without any possessions and we would eventually leave the world with no iota of any possession that we may enjoy while living here on earth. We need to possess our possessions without being possessed by it. Both riches and poverty are testing and challenging for the human heart. This is the reason the wise prayer is included in the book of Proverbs, “Lord make me neither too rich that I act as if I do not need You and Your grace or too poor that I curse myself by saying that it is better I die and not live. Just give me enough.” Excess wealth and grinding poverty can both have a corrosive effect on our faith and souls. Elsewhere in the Psalms, it says that if we pant after worldly wealth, our desire might be granted but the Lord would send poverty to our souls. We need to understand that the true wealth that is a strong city that can meet our every need of body, mind and spirit is faith. We need to amass enough of this kind of spiritual and holistic wealth. A strong city is where the Lord dwells. A strong city is where the “strong one” – the enemy cannot tempt or afflict or divert our attention, where he cannot steal, rob or kill.

We should never gloat about our wealth nor should we look down on the poor. Wealth gives the godless a false sense of immunity that they could get away with anything. It leads them into many errors and wilful mistakes. Wealth for the godly is a source of blessing-another reason to praise and thank the Lord. They do not boast or gloat in it. They recognize that it is a gift from the Lord and not a demonstration of their own skill and prowess or talent. They are generous to use it to bless others. They look upon themselves not as owners but as stewards to whom the Lord has entrusted it for some time. They try diligently to increase or multiply it using every legitimate opportunity even as they are contented with what they have been given. The Lord identifies Himself with the poor and penniless even as Jesus was born into an impoverished family though a scion of the line of King David. He puts His weight behind the poor and tests the heart of the rich by their attitudes and actions of giving or helping the poor. Wealth that is acquired through wrongful means has a curse on it even as poverty is a curse that came with the fall of man. But the Lord is prepared to redeem people from it as they turn to Him for help and lifting them up from the miry pit of poverty. Poverty is a source of destruction of the human body, the mind and the soul. The body is afflicted as the basic needs cannot be met satisfactorily in terms of food, clothing, shelter, hygiene and health. The mind is afflicted as it makes people disbelieve in the goodness of God and in the possibilities that God’s goodness and greatness makes available to everyone who acknowledges and trusts Him. The spirit is dragged down by disbelief in oneself, others and in the Creator. Poverty makes a person defenceless and vulnerable to attack from all possible directions. True wealth should transport us and keep us in the “strong city” forever where we are not vulnerable, where we are secure forever. All other wealth is vain and illusory except it is used to lead us into the strong city.

Prateep V Philip

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