Saturday, January 10, 2009

What'll It Be?

There are some other blogs out there that I enjoy reading, and occasionally I find myself forced into posting a response on one. This week, I read Trey Morgan's post about being tired of hearing everyone whine about the economy. Me being me, I agreed with him and posted some comments about how watching the play by play on the news actually attracts more bad economic results whereas turning it off and realizing that we have the most powerful force in the universe on our side would improve things.

One of his other readers posted a touching story about her father losing his job and not being able to find another one. It was one of those "be careful what you say unless you are living the hell" sorts of things. She made a very valid point. It is easy for me to advocate thinking positive as the cure for all that ails us as long as my paycheck is there every month on time and in the amount I expect to receive.

Yet someone on the blog went on to talk about God needing some people to be financially poor so we could relate to and reach the lost who are poor, even suggesting that some of us are supposed to be poor because that's what God wants for our lives.

Sorry folks. I just can't go there. This is the fatalistic flaw in so many Christian beliefs. How DARE we suggest for even one second that God would decide I get to be rich, but your destiny is to reach the poor who are lost, so you have to live in poverty like they do. That would be akin to my husband saying to two of my daughters, "Here you go,'s the deed to the house, your college paid for, a new car for each of you, and an oil well (or wind turbine) just for grins." He then would turn to the other two and say, "Okay, you two ....well...gee whiz, just can't handle money, so I'm not going to allow you to have a dime. Besides, you have poor friends and they might feel alienated if I allow you to be wealthy."

What earthly father would treat his children with such favoritism and unfairness? We all know what we would think of such a father. "....If 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!" Matthew 7:11.

All my life, I have been preached to about how God only gives us what we can handle and no more. That has been stretched and applied to so many areas of our lives in such inappropriate ways. Why is Solomon any more worthy of riches than I am? Did God love him more than he loves me? Am I somehow unworthy or too stupid to handle wealth at the level that Solomon had (adjusted for inflation by today's standards, of course)?

This Father to whom many of us have abdicated all responsibility for our success is the same Father who designed the most amazing garden imaginable for two most precious beings. That amazing garden met all of their needs. Oh yeah...right....they sinned and got kicked out, so now he plays favorites with the rest of us and only the chosen ones get to be wealthy and well-fed. I'm not buying it! "...there is no favoritism with Him." Eph. 6:9

Jesus Christ may have come to be the ultimate perfect sacrifice for our sins, but he also came to deliver a message that God's chosen had somehow missed over the years. He came to tell us that we can have anything we want if only we will ask for it, then truly believe we are already in possession of it. He did not include exceptions in that message. He did not say, "....If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, your Father in heaven will give good gifts to those he thinks can handle them, but some of you have to remain poor or we can't reach the lost."

Jesus made believers out of poor people by showing them amazing things....miracles that exceeded anything they ever imagined possible. He produced thousands of dollars in food out of a couple of scrawny fish and a few biscuits. He did not walk around the crowd and offer the food to those who could handle it while withholding it from those who needed to remain hungry. All were deserving of his gift. As a matter of fact, he produced and offered 12 full baskets more than they could handle.

He was placed on a cross because he was a threat to the status quo. The wealthy were scared to death of how he was empowering the poor. The poor were afraid of having to take responsibility for their own quality of life. We, too, are doing this same thing today. Our churches teach the ask, seek, knock principles, yet the moment someone takes that concept to a level that elevates their life circumstances a little more than what the rest of us can handle, we start looking for the evil in their lives. We claim they are into New Age or Eastern religions. We suggest that they are elevating themselves to the level of God Almighty and then proceed to find ways to persecute them.

But wait. Are we not made in the image of God? Is not Christ our brother? Are there not references in the Inspired Word of God to the Son of Man? The Word? The Light of the World? That's just too New Age. How dare I.

And so I digress. My point in this spiritual rant is that I take issue with the notion that a loving, fair, just God chooses some of his children to be financially blessed and others to be destitute. How dare we assign responsibility to God for such situations. And don't even suggest that they are Satan's doing. It also has nothing to do with our parents, although parents can leave us with some pretty bizarre beliefs about money and wealth. Country of origin can certainly complicate things, yet God moved Abraham and made him filthy rich, so I'm not buying that one either.

There is only one place to assign responsibility for our personal level of financial achievement or lack thereof, and that is squarely on our own shoulders. Yes folks, it is time to quit the whining about how bad things are and begin asking, seeking, and knocking, all the while fully expecting and visualizing having it all. The Father, your Father, wants you to swim in it, sleep in it, eat from it, dance in it, and most importantly share it. God is not the one who determines whether you can handle it or not. You are!
Your choices and your decisions in life have placed you exactly where you have landed, yet God is more than willing to pick you up and deliver you to a new level if you truly desire the change.

He's waiting to take your order. Is that language too strong for some of you? Okay then, he's waiting for you to ask him. He's wrapped around your little finger just like my man is wrapped around the little fingers of me and four beautiful girls. He loves you so much that he'll give you your heart's desire. What'll it be? What will you have? As for me and my house, there's no holding back. We'll take the whole enchilada with grateful hearts.


Erika said...

... I'm the one who gets everything paid for. =)

Anonymous said...

We sometimes do not get because of our motives. James 4:3

I think God looks at us when we talk about being blessed as having money in the bank and new cars in the driveway and big houses, he thinks, "you poeple just do not get it." We are all rich no matter what our bank account says. Yes we have choices, but to be prosperous does not always mean "money." We should give God the glory for having lots of money in the bank or for having just a little in the bank. God does bless us all the same, he sent his Son to DIE for all of us. That is the greatest blessing of all, and it does not matter how much money we have, we all recive that blessing. This thing of "you are only in God's blessings or grace if you are earthly rich" is unbibical. I know very poor people that have more faith in God than most "rich" people. We must as Christians start looking at our true blessings.

Angie said...

You are absolutely correct in stating that we are blessed no matter what our bank account says. I'm in total agreement with you there.

However, I'm curious as to what portion of my blog post left you with the impression that I was suggesting "you are only in God's blessings or grace if you are earthly rich".

The point I was making is that saying God has chosen to keep a person in poverty to serve HIS purposes is wrong. That would totally obliterate the idea that we are a free will people. We choose to leave a paying job to serve him in some low- or no-paying ministry or missionary capacity. We choose to not have an adequate emergency fund to make it through the lean times. We choose to be educated or not and then to use that education or not use it.

Basically, my point was we choose our existence, not God. God blesses our choices or works to help us improve our situation if we so desire, but he does not place us in poverty to serve his purposes. If we are in poverty faithfully serving him, then that is our choice, not his.