There is built deep inside of man a need for fulfillment and contentment. God created this in us so that there would be a part of our existence that could not be satisfied by anything, or anyone, but Him. God created that need, and fulfilled that need through fellowship with Him. Outside of that fellowship, He showered us with a thousand blessings of material gifts and “things” for our use and enjoyment.
The very “things” that God gave us as gifts,
now threaten to become more important to us than the Giver.
Now we struggle with satisfying that deep need for fulfillment and contentment with the creation instead of the creator. “Things” war for ownership of our heart’s desire and adoration. God did not create us that way but our sin introduced this reality.
Wealth does not bring security
Ecclesiastes 5:13-14a There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt. But those riches perish through misfortune; (NKJV)
No amount of money brings security. Any amount of money can be taken from you in a moment of time. Money can’t secure your health, your safety, your peace of mind or your happiness.
Stock market crashes, thieves, lawsuits, governments and disasters can wipe out fortunes in a blink. “Riches kept for their owner to his hurt” are riches that a man puts his faith, hope and security in. When they are taken, the security is taken as well.
Wealth doesn’t secure you from injustice, pestilence, wars, disease or adversaries. “Things” don’t give you security. Being in God’s will does.
Prosperity actually decreases true wealth for most people because we buy more than we need or can afford primarily due to advertising.
Proverbs 13:7 – There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches. (NKJV)
The more things we have, the more things we have to have. Prosperity feeds itself and advertising is like pouring gas on a fire.
Advertising has one purpose alone… to make you discontent
with what you have, who you are and what others think of you.
We see thousands of ads each week. The effects are worth multiple billions in ad campaigns because Madison Ave KNOWS the truth about what we want to deny: that advertising works and gets us to buy what we don’t need, can’t afford and shouldn’t have.
Advertising in general cultivates covetousness, jealousy, class envy and greed. It is truly a killer of Godliness in a society. So am I saying we should criminalize advertising? No. Jesus didn’t come to enact social change. He came to change hearts. If the heart is right, the correction of symptoms will naturally follow.
For most people, prosperity decreases our true wealth. We buy things we don’t need. Then we have to house them, care for them, insure them, organize them and protect them. And we have to buy the stuff to do that and on and on we go snowballing into garages full “stuff” that require bigger houses that quickly get filled up with more “stuff”.
Prosperity typically decreases true wealth for most people.
Examine your life and be honest about what your real treasure is
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NKJV)
It’s easy to figure out where our “treasures” are in life. Look at a person’s schedule and checkbook and the answer will be clear what is important to them. It is profitable for us to do a self examination occasionally to see if our “treasure” is where it should be: in eternity.
Look at your checkbook. God knows we need BASIC food, clothing, shelter; beyond that, where is most of your money spent? On eternal investment? Or on this life?
Look at your schedule. How much of your resources are spent pursuing, maintaining, protecting and managing “things”? How much time and money is spent getting MORE of these things?
Giving to God is the only safe and sure investment; it pays guaranteed exponential dividends for all eternity. Don’t leave your treasures here on earth where rust and thieves destroy them. Send them to heaven where they will be waiting for you with a ten-fold, one-hundred-fold or one-thousand-fold or more return.
Father in Heaven, help us to learn that money does not bring security, only the blood of Jesus does. Teach us to use Your blessings for Your glory and to lay up our treasures in heaven. In Jesus Name, amen.
Contemplation: Are you waiting on a pay raise, new job or investment to finally bring some sense of security to your life? What will it take? A house in a nice neighborhood; an alarm system; a big retirement account and plenty of spending money? Then will you be secure? How much junk do you have now that you didn’t have before you finally made enough money to buy it? Where would someone think your treasure lies if they were to take a look at your checkbook and schedule?
Application: When we put “things” in the proper perspective, it is easier to kick them out of our hearts so they don’t compete for God’s rightful place anymore.
- 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?