“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
One of the lessons we have to keep learning as Christians, is that God’s ways and thoughts are not like ours. Our natural tendencies incline us to act and to think opposite from how God does. That’s why it’s helpful to be reminded again and again about basic patterns for a successful life in the Kingdom of God. For instance, Jesus tells us, “The last shall be first” and, “Whoever wants to be significant should become the servant of all.” Instead of returning insults and blows to those who hurt us, the way we would naturally want to do, we are told to bless and turn the other cheek. That seems crazy! Right? Serve others instead of them serving you; love people unconditionally, instead of loving them with a set of expectations; show mercy and be kind to people who oppose you; live your life in submission, rather than in rebellion? Who ever heard of things so ridiculous?
That’s the point—the lesson we have to keep learning.
Beneath each of these seemingly impossible and ridiculous admonitions is a power principle of the Kingdom, a truth about how things really work. How you and I can end up with the most abundant and satisfied lives. The whole point of God’s ways is to bring bounty and good into our lives. The actions or attitudes that seem to place us at a disadvantage in the world are the very ones that give us the advantage in the Kingdom.
Money is one of the most obvious topics of disagreement between what God and, our natural thoughts advise. The world‐system tells us that the more wealth we can get and keep for ourselves, the more we will end up with at the end of the day. Most of our lives are lived under a relentless pressure that harries us with thoughts like, “You do not have enough to take care of yourself; you certainly do not have enough to give away to others—not even to God!”
Jesus spoke a great deal about the spiritual power of money because He knew how BIG the subject is to us, and it is no accident that He uses the concept of “debt” to describe the condition we are in as a result of our sins. People who have been in major debt, and those of us who dread that possibility know what it does to ruin life. It’s an effective analogy.
Money is a gigantic crossroads for almost every aspect of people’s lives (fears and aspirations; success and failure; survival and protection; etc.), so the stakes seem higher and more life threatening. Almost all of us need more of it, and we haven’t figured out how we’re going to survive with the little we have—much less, if we give some away.
The truth is, NO, we do not have enough to assure an abundant future. The Kingdom solution to that reality is, however, quite the opposite of the world’ solution. The Lord urges us to do the very thing we feel like we cannot safely do: purposefully give what we have been given.
That is why our decision about whether or not to put our trust in the advice of the Bible really boils down to a question of faith—Do you believe God will enrich your life more than your own efforts?
God freely gave His Son on our behalf to eliminate our total debt (Romans 8:32; Colossians 2:13‐14); He has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. So, it is completely inconsistent with all He has already done, to question if He has switched tactics from giving to grabbing.
Once that truth settles into our heart, and we grasp the reality of God’s determination to actively do us good all the days of our life, virtually every point of instruction in the Bible comes alive in a different light than we have seen it before.
God names Himself Jehovah‐Jireh, the Lord of Plenty, the God of Provision and Supply. Since He places His identity so squarely on a particular activity done for the sake of His followers, we can have great confidence in His promise to provide what we need to live a life of plenty. But learning how to let Him do for us what we’re so tempted to try to do for ourselves—well, that’s another matter.
Scripture of the day: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ~ Luke 6:38
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