Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
There is an old quote that says “We are often so focused on what we want, we miss the things we need“.
Little bits of wisdom can be helpful if kept within the context of the moment. I suppose many people would grow from a reminder to consider when desire oversteps a need. Since the foolish are often characterized by those who desire pleasure over provision, it seems the more I focus on my own path of understanding, the great opportunity I have for avoiding the pitfalls of foolishness.
Psalm 112:1-3 “Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.”
When working in street ministry we used to have a policy for those who came for more than we were providing. If a request came in for rent money or help with utilities, the process of sitting down and evaluating the finances of those asking was needed for moving forward. If someone who couldn’t make rent continued to fall short each month because of poor financial decisions, the request would eventually drain the resources of those trying to help. Often times when evaluating someone’s position, discoveries would be made of large amounts of money being spent on things like storage units or luxuries that were not necessities. After considering the waste of money someone had been exhibiting, the counsel was to help them become more resourceful in their expenditures so that they could become more self-supportive.
Proverbs 21:20 “There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.”
Often times people call out to God for help and yet they aren’t willing to listen to the answer. “Lord, bail me out of this mess I’ve got myself in” is the cry and yet the pattern of waste continues, since denying the flesh would be too great of a sacrifice.
What is God’s desire when it comes to blessing people? What is our responsibility when it comes to need?
Well, far be it from me to claim any knowledge of God’s mind but we all have the Word of God as a resource for discovering how God has dealt with requests in the past.
The Promise of God to Abram
Probably the single greatest promise of blessing was given through Abram, who eventually was named Abraham. No other promise given to man has ever affected the entire world to such a degree.
Genesis 12:1-3 “Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The lineage of Abraham’s promise was given through Isaac, the son God promised Abraham and Sarah in their old age. Eventually, the seed of Abraham formed into the nation of Israel and through this nation came the promised Messiah.
Jesus fulfilled all of the requirements necessary to be the true Messiah and so the lineage of Abraham also became a spiritual lineage that transcended across the earth. To those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and King, they have been grafted into the vine of a spiritual nation that arose from the nation of Israel. Every family that has known the joy of being made acceptable through the blood of Christ, has known the original blessing of God given to Abram so long ago.
1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
The greatest gift ever given is the one Jesus purchased with His life. Grace has been freely offered to all who would receive it. Little does the world know of how great a value this grace really is.
- It cannot be purchased, it has far too much value.
- It cannot be given away, but by the One who earned it.
- It cannot be stolen, the power of God keeps it secure.
- It cannot be lost, once grace is received it is not rescinded.
The world seeks after fame and fortune thinking it will bring pleasure and security. The poor think about becoming rich, having freedom, being elevated into a position of honor.
All of these things the world seeks is found in Christ… in abundance.
Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
When our mindset is on the will of God, we find that our eyes stay focused on that which is important and less on those things which only pass away. When loss of position, or power, or money occurs, the effects aren’t devastating because they never were critical to your happiness.
Paul understood the priorities by which he was called. He knew that whatever he required, God would supply.
When our focus is on Christ, joy supersedes fleshly desire. When the Lord does supply you, He receives the glory and you delight in His praise. Your life becomes a living testimony of God’s goodness and you are not held captive by a world that gives only empty promises.
“The size of a challenge should never be measured by what we have to offer. It will never be enough. Furthermore, provision is God’s responsibility, not ours. We are merely called to commit what we have – even if it’s no more than a sack lunch.”Chuck Swindoll
Just as the glories of this world are worthless from an eternal perspective, so we cannot bring anything of value before the table of the Lord.
Imagine with me for a moment, a King reigns upon the earth who owns everything. What could you possibly bring to this King that is of any value to Him? Your life?
The Lord God is King of all Creation. Not only is all of Creation His, He also breathed life into you and made you in His own image.
He has given you free reign over the decisions in your life but you were made for a purpose. He completes that purpose in you. Without Him, you are only a part of the greater whole of His design. In Christ, you are made complete in Him, His Spirit fills up what you were lacking and you get to take part in His plan.
Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
The pleasure of God is realized in the lives of His people.
If you really want to know true happiness, stop seeking the gifts and start seeking the Giver. It is then that you will find the secrets the world can only dream about and you’ll know this joy for an eternity.