Monday, August 16, 2010

Is it okay to have an abundance?

Lately the Lord has really been stirring my heart towards a simple matter:


He just wants me to trust Him.

No matter what I desire (based on either needs or wants), and no matter how little or great my desires are, he wants me to know that in Him alone are my requests granted.

And, boy, do I have a lot of requests!

For the sake of my family privacy, I won't list them here on my blog- but let's just say our family is looking forward to the days ahead and APPRECIATING the moments today.  Even the struggles can be appreciated when we realize that the joy is in the journey.

The key is, trusting God to get to the other side.  If we give up or lose faith along the way, we won't be able to enjoy the journey, much less persevere to see the solutions that God has in store.  And I am thrilled just sitting here thinking about much He has already taken care of us, and how much more I know that He will.

No matter your desires- be it physical or spiritual, even material-- if they equal to needs (or even some rightful desires)- God has promised that He will give us abundantly and above all that we can ask or think.

Some people say that He has only agreed to give us our needs.  Well, if that is the case, praise God for the food on our tables and the clothing that we wear each day.  Praise God for the roof over our heads!  The so-called "prosperity message" has actually turned people in a complete 365, and when it comes to the idea of wealth building and becoming prosperous.  Is it wrong?  What does God say about wealth?  What about the abundance of "stuff" we've already accumulated in our lives?  What does God think about that?

If you know God has done abundantly ABOVE basic needs for you-- (how about that SUV you might driving, or the extra spacious home, or even just the abundance of clothing that might be spilling out of your closet)- then think about it.  Really think about it.  Does God hate our abundance?

Really think about that.

Did God hate Abraham's abundance? Was it not Elohim the Creator who caused Abraham to be abundantly blessed- he and his entire household?

There are too many more instances in the Bible to prove that not only is God not against abundance but He is the source of it.  (After all, Heaven is definitely not a chintzy place.  I would hope that when Jesus said that He went away to prepare a mansion for us that He didn't mean a shack...)  Remember when Jesus told His disciples not to worry?  He proved His point of His love for us even then when He said this (Matthew 7:9-11- NIV)
9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! if my daughter asked for a glass of milk, would I by any chance figure she meant fuel?  Gross right?  No loving parent in their right mind would give a child something so horrid when she or he has asked for something special and important to them.

Some things we need.  Some things we just want.  I am at a place in my life where I am beginning to understand that it is not a sin to desire something  that registers above the "needs" meter.  In fact, I have to believe that my Heavenly Father delights in showing His love for me in extraordinary ways- and that includes showering me with blessings I don't necessarily NEED to survive.

But what's next is this: it's a heart issue.

Not a prosperity issue.  Not a "name it, claim it, blab it, grab it" issue.

(In fact, this is usually how spoiled brats behave-- little children who either know no better or are just purely ignorant).  Don't mean to sound rude.

Can you imagine God bending to every notion of one of His immature kids who has incredibly ludicrous requests and a bad attitude?  I don't think our Lord will be responsible for making that person a million overnight and issuing twenty sports vehicles and thirty-something mansions...that would not be happening.

But do you think a mature child, who understands the heart of her parent, would ask for ludicrous things?  Do you think the desires of her heart would be too challenging for God?

A job?  An extra income?  Ability to pay your bills?  Enough money to not only pay your bills but help others?  More clothing for your children?    So much clothing you can help others and give some of your clothes away? A safe neighborhood?  A bigger house?  A house big enough to not only fit your family, but other families, so now you can help take care of others?  Another car?  A car with more room so now you can give others a ride who need one?

God knows your heart.  His children know HIM. His children know His voice.  His children know His heart.  His children ask for things according to God's will.

His children can rest assure that NOTHING is too hard for God.  AND...God is not displeased when we ask Him for things, with a grateful attitude, and a willing heart to continue loving Him, serving Him, and doing good to others as we wait patiently upon our answers from Him.

Prosperity as a result of impatience is a really bad mix.  Prosperity and patience go hand in hand.

Ultimately, it's up to you and I to figure out what prosperity means to each of us.  Honestly, there are some things I can go without.  We live in a an "abundance is everything " society, but we don't often see the appreciation for the things God has blessed us with.  Additionally, we see misuse of what God has given us.

May it not be that way with us as Believers.  We can use God's blessings to help others and bless the world around us.  How can the world know who we are if we are unable to help?

It's all a heart issue.  If your heart is right, it's okay to ask God for it!  Just don't bank your salvation or your happiness on it.

And as you ask for these things...remember they are only things. Temporal.  Soon to pass.  But seeing as you're still sticking around Planet Earth, you could probably use those things...and share with others who might like to enjoy it as well.

So.  That's what I'm learning.  I'm not afraid to ask God for what I need...OR what I want!  And while I am waiting on my answers, I learn to relax and enjoy the journey.

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