Question: Lately God has been showing me that money doesn’t equal blessing even if it makes life easier. In fact it can dull our fire and need for God… just as we are warned in Matthew 19:24. I really saw that in the mission to Africa. We are SO privileged here in America, often times I even feel guilty for it, for how much provision I really have. But when I saw the video of the containers people slept in to attend the conferences and I heard what people had to do to hear God’s word, I realized in our “privilege” many of us have become lazy and it’s so easy to lose our drive and passion to hear God’s word because it’s so easily accessible. The passion and fire these people have to seek God is more valuable than gold. I think it’s so easy that we’ve taken it for granted. What are your thoughts?
Although this isn’t a typical question, I definitely see it as something that can be addressed. To be honest I have had many of these same thoughts and I want to share how God helped me.
It’s easy when someone has been on a mission trip or has been laboring for something to get really wrapped up in it. Ask any first time mother. I’ve also seen this as a pastor so many times. You see an issue, legitimate issue, and the thought that comes is, “I/we have to do more!” The truth is, we do need to do more, but we also have to learn balance. And balance is an interesting thing. Too much pull on one side and you fall. Too much on the other, you fall. There is a constant tension in balance that pulls from one side to another, forces working against each other, to keep one upright. It’s no less so here.
When I was preparing to go to Africa, the Lord gave me a scripture that ended up being a theme of sorts to me while I was there. And this helped me greatly. The scripture is Romans 1:11-12 (NASB) and says, “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Here we see such beautiful tension. One was going because they were sent to take care of a need, yet the realization was, there was something there for the one who was sent to receive as well. I find this true in all of God’s ministry. We impart and get imparted to. When I prepare a message for our church and then deliver it, there is a transaction that happens in the spirit that I cannot always explain. I can be equally blessed by the ones I’m ministering to. They minister to me, sometimes without even knowing.
The key is not to see a need and then get down on ourselves, but to seek the Lord, what is my part in this, what would You have me to do? There is no doubt that living in this country we are automatically blessed. I have seen first hand that there is a kind of privilege that comes with that. However, we have not chosen where we would be born or what abundance we have. We have not chosen the way our government governs or how the economy does. We simply partake of that. The issue arises when we don’t realize that we have been privileged and that privilege has power. We are to use that for God’s glory.
Not too awful long ago I was in a place that had great need of people to minister. In fact, I’ve seen this in many places all over the world. I started getting overwhelmed with the need and my inability to fulfill it. As I was allowing my anxiety to grow, I felt the Lord show me in my spirit, there is more work to be done than any one person can accomplish. Do what He calls me to. If I will focus on that then I will accomplish exactly what He desires.
It’s so easy to be caught up in all that needs fixed. Again, I do this as much as the next person. But the reason the task is so overwhelming for us is because it’s not our task. God determines where we are born, what we will be raised under, both with its weaknesses and faults, as well as its strengths. When I was in Kenya, I brought back so much from those amazing people. However, in the midst of it, I saw some of the greatest needs. These needs were not what one might think either. See, a truth remains, God is God to the wealthy and to the poor. He’s God to the sick and God to the healthy. God is, He does not change. If our foremost need is always God, then the other circumstances mean little to us. Follow Him, seek after Him, and He will fill us how He chooses.
In conclusion, do not be worked up by what is not getting done, but use opportunities like this to stir you to seek Him. Don’t get distracted by what others fail to do, be distracted by what His Spirit directs you to do. What is God saying to you today. If people everywhere would learn to follow this truth, I believe no work would be left undone. God is working through the lives of believers whose hearts are to fulfill His calling in their lives. Nothing more, nothing less.