The war is on for the heart of man. At one time it was the sole domain of God Himself and none other was worthy of entering. Then sin corrupted this fellowship and attacks from a thousand fronts now assail the inner chambers of the heart originally created only to be filled by the Creator Himself.
The very “things” that God gave us as gifts,
now threaten to become more important to us than the Giver.
“Things” (money, possessions, pleasures, etc) fight for the title of “King” in our heart. We must decide our allegiance on a daily basis for no sooner has one campaign of covetousness and materialism been conquered, another battle commences with a different strategy. It is a ruthless and relentless onslaught that will be fought by each person for the duration of their time in this life.
It helps us to know the enemy and know how to arm ourselves spiritually.
Wealth never brings peace of mind
Ecclesiastes 5:· 12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. (NKJV)
When you drove a $500 piece of junk were you ever worried about someone scratching it? Did you care if someone borrowed it? Did the thought of it being stolen cause you much anxiety? Did you spend a lot of money insuring it to the max so you would feel “protected” from these things?
The more you have, the more tragic it is to lose it. The nicer and more expensive your things are, the more you worry about them being damaged and the more reluctant you are to allow someone to use them. The bigger your stock portfolio is, the harder it is to watch the Market fall.
The more you have, the harder it is to ever relax from the endless needs to maintain, organize, insure, protect, maintain and care for it all. The more you have, the more people will be trying to get you to give it up to them. Someone or something will always be trying to relieve you of your wealth.
The answer? Send it on ahead to heaven where it will be perfectly safe, enjoy exponential rates of return and count for all eternity. The “abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” only while he holds on tightly to his riches in this life. Invest in heaven, the eternal bull market.
Prosperity brings the freedom and power to pursue idleness, pleasure, recreation and multitudinous choices rather than being focused on a few primary pursuits.
Proverbs 13:7 – There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches. (NKJV)
God, family, balanced work and ministry… these are the important things in life that go neglected when prosperity brings the ability to pursue an endless choice of new experiences. But life would be boring just concentrating on a few primary responsibilities, right? Exactly my point.
- Wealth and prosperity brings the freedom to have sex with less consequences because we can buy birth control, get abortions, have the government pay for illegitimate children or hire lawyers to sue for “support” we are “owed”.
- Prosperity gives us power to ignore health disciplines – overeating, poor diet, smoking, drinking, drugs, promiscuous sex… all can be somewhat remedied or the effects cushioned by prosperity that provides pills, therapy, surgery and support groups for every indulgence imaginable.
- Prosperity gives us the freedom to get drunk, waste away the hours watching movies, surfing the Internet, indulge in endless sources of immorality, buy things we don’t need, gamble, chase the newest adrenaline rush or sport, etc, etc, etc
- Wealth brings CHOICE OVERLOAD in every area of our life: clothing, vacations, entertainment, pleasure, recreation, etc.
Prosperity threatens to trap us in temporal pursuits that hold no eternal value. Wealth is not the problem. The problem arises when we choose to use the new found power and freedom that wealth brings to pursue fun, pleasures, sensation, comfort and luxury simply because now we can afford to.
The important things in life quickly become “boring”: God, family, work & ministry. The freedom and power that money brings can be every bit as addicting and intoxicating as drugs or sex. Don’t underestimate its effects.
We love what we pay for or invest in
Luke 12:34 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV)
What do your kids love more? The car you buy for them? Or the one they have to work, sweat and pay for themselves? We teach our children all the time the principle that where ever our hard-earned money is invested, we have more of an interest in that investment.
We teach the principle to our kids, yet ignore it when it comes to us and God. We spend our blessings on endless, worthless temporal “things” that end up being quickly forgotten or neglected. Are God is trying to tell us to quit taking His blessings for granted, and start using them for eternal good.
You are attracted to, and interested in, what you spend your time and money on.
Don’t believe me? Show me your checkbook or schedule and I will tell you exactly what you are most interested in. Maybe another vacation or set of new golf clubs seems much more exciting than missionaries or evangelism. How do you change that?
- Give your money to missions and see how quickly you come to love and be concerned about missions
- Give your money to the poor and see how quickly you come to love and be concerned about the truly needy
- Give time to evangelism and see how quickly evangelism becomes an important topic in your life
Where does most of your money go? Recreation, house, clothes, cars, possessions… making more money? Does your spending parallel what you love and are interested in?
You will begin to be attracted to and more interested in the God’s work when you start investing in it.
O God, help us to learn the source of true peace. Teach us to use the blessings you give us to bring glory to You and count for all eternity. In Jesus Name, amen.
Contemplation: Do you have peace of mind today? If not, what do you believe will bring it? Money? Things? Be truthful with youself, God already knows the answer. As your level of wealth has grown, has your Godliness grown, or your pursuit of life’s many distractions? If you’re uninterested in God’s work is there a corresponding lack of investment of your time and money in eternal matters?
Application: Only being in good standing with God brings true peace of mind. Wealth brings a certain type of power and freedom that can be wasted or invested. Invest your blessings into the things of God and see how quickly your interest in those things rises.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?