Plenty to Go Around :: by Ron Graham

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Ephesians 1:9-11)

What was God’s intent for creating us in the first place? Almost everyone who is presented with this question has a different answer. But there is only one true answer, God created us according to His will for His purposes and for His good pleasure.

We’re born on this planet and we die on this planet and in between those two points in time we may accomplish a lot or we may accomplish little depending on how we look at this life. To God our accomplishments are viewed very differently than how we humans may perceive them. Did God place us here to become wealthy or influential?

Did He place us on this planet to be poor or utterly useless? There is a vast array of ideas on just how we should live and conduct our lives being propagated today, and few of these concepts concur with God’s ideal lifestyle for the human side of His creation. How you and I see each other is not necessarily how God sees us.

It was never God’s intention that mankind should be consumed with his daily labor to the exclusion of all else, especially as can be plainly seen in that so many have fully excluded God from their lives. How can God be pleased when His creation ignores Him—all the time running after more wealth and masses of material goods?

These days are filled with the pursuit of accumulating wealth and, of course, the age old problem arises as to what’s more important—what’s the priority in our lives? Sooner or later pursuing wealth will become overwhelming and our lives will reveal the loss of any thought of what’s really important, such as remembering we have a God—a Father in Heaven, who simply wants to have a loving and awesome relationship with His children.

Chasing after knowledge is another quest which becomes a stumbling block for many because we can exclude all else as we strive to obtain the goal of higher knowledge — most of which comes without any wisdom (knowledge means we know a tomato is a fruit, wisdom means we realize tomatoes don’t belong in a fruit salad).

God is the giver of all knowledge and wisdom and He gives us what we need to build a loving relationship with Him, pursuing humanistic dreams which more often than not contradict God’s word fall into a category which is insulting to Him. All contrary concepts in regards to the word of God are of the enemy, and as we pursue them we unwittingly cross over a line which leads us directly into the enemy’s camp.

God’s plan for His creation never included anything apart from His Word. As we go about pursuing our own goals we must ask ourselves, where does God fit in? When we design our plans for our future is God involved? Future, there’s a word that must be discussed more. Without God we have no future. Our future according to God may have nothing to do with our own personal plans. God’s plan will be achieved no matter how many times we mere humans try to throw a monkey wrench into His plan for our future. The best laid plans.

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

Most people who pursue after incredible wealth and power aren’t really concerned with what God wants or expects from them. Money, finances, these things are necessary for us to get by, that’s just a fact of life, but as far as God is concerned they are secondary needs and He will provide all our needs. First of all, God wants us to get to know Him.

He’s put it on our hearts to seek Him, and He knows that we will live a life with a huge void in our hearts until we do just that. He wants us (His children) to have and enjoy a relationship with Him while we sojourn on this planet. He’s preparing us for an eternity filled with so much more than we can experience or appreciate during our stay on earth.

Money buys just about anything, gobs of money buys way more than we need. A huge problem arises when we allow money to determine our path instead of allowing God to control that task. It’s easy to separate ourselves from God as we allow our hearts and minds to be filled with something we can’t easily be shed of; that would be greed.

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:8)

You see, the more we have the more we want, and that’s just the human way of living. That’s why God tells us not to be consumed with the desire to have more than we need, but to be content in what we have. If we can’t find contentment in what we have then ultimately we will pursue after that desire to obtain more.

This attitude of more in turn establishes a stumbling block in our lives, in this case it’s that old greed monster raising its ugly head again. We can either serve God in which case we will find contentment in whatever situation comes our way, or we will become subservient to the pursuit of the desire to have more and more of everything.

Let’s take a look at a much forgotten way of life. Years ago travel was mostly accomplished by using a horse-drawn wagon. Families would load up the kids for a jaunt into town on a Saturday to stock up with the necessities for the coming week or even for the next month. On Sunday they would head to church in that same horse-drawn wagon.

There was no rushing around and no cutting people off in traffic in order to get to their favorite fast food joint before the rush. Before we knew it we were sitting in shiny new and fast moving cars that would get us to where we wanted to go in an instant. All so we could wait in line to buy what we don’t really need. As we began to travel faster we began to expect everything that comes our way to come instantaneously. And we become upset whenever we are asked to wait or be patient.

We stop at a fast food restaurant and expect our food to be delivered at breakneck speed. If, heaven forbid, we aren’t accommodated as we have come to expect, God help the poor soul that fell behind with our order by a minute or two. I give this fast food example because our daughter works at one of these establishments. It’s amazing to listen to her describe the patrons as they become incredibly irate by the delay of a few seconds in receiving their French fries.

She tells her mother and me that some of these folks only have three or four letter word vocabularies—none of which are encouraging words. The really amazing thing is that all of these folks seem to be running late for their next appointment. How did everything get so rushed? Where is God in the mix of all this hurriedness?

Can you see what has happened in our pursuit for more? More and faster cars, more and bigger homes, more and more money so we are able to purchase more and more things that usually end up only collecting dust in an attic or basement. What all these wants add up to is a huge void where God should be. Once God fills that void everything else becomes of non-importance. Money, the one item that everyone needs, is no longer pursued with the fervor it once was. God provides.

In the mindset of most humans there is a goal to reach which has nothing to do with what God wants from us. God wants us to achieve something, that’s true, but it isn’t wealth, popularity, a ton of materialism, or even a massive amount of knowledge. He wants our love, our faithfulness, our minds focused on Him and not on the things of this world. In short, God wants a personal relationship with each one of us, as uninhibited by worldly influences as possible.

Most of the things that occupy our minds and lives these days are actually things of the enemy. That’s right! Anything that takes your mind off God as you push yourself to even higher pursuits of happiness gives the enemy occasion to insert his propaganda into whatever time slot he finds accessible, especially where he finds God to be absent. You might want to rethink what gives you pleasure in this world, and when you do you might just realize that much of the pleasure of this world is satanic.

“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” (Proverbs 8:17-21)

God doesn’t look on earthly wealth as some kind of grand accomplishment. He doesn’t care how big our home is. He’s not interested in the fleet of cars and planes we might have acquired while we live on earth. As a matter of fact, to God all of that stuff is absolutely of no use in His domain. People will do everything they can to accumulate treasures here on earth and yet they     all die, at which point their endeavors of accumulating earthly treasure are abruptly finished. If they’ve done nothing in regards to what God considers important then it was all for naught. Fame and fortune are only earthly pursuits.

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:7)

What portion of those accumulated treasures do we get to take with us into heaven? Not even one microscopic particle. Therefore, if we are born-again and we know we will live forever, why store up treasures here on earth when we’re also told that all will be destroyed?

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)

One more thing that God wants for His people – for those who are called by His name, those who are born again, His children – is that at some point during their sojourning on planet earth, they will come to the realization that nothing materialistic, nothing of this current world will matter to their eternal existence. But that by being a positive force behind the promotion of His Kingdom they can actually store up treasure for themselves in heaven – treasure that will be an eternal benefit to their existence in eternity.

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)

God wants our hearts to be focused on Him while we avoid the trappings of materialistic pursuits. Is that possible? Absolutely. Give God your attention and watch what He does.

Isn’t it interesting how so many people seek wealth and power above all other pursuits? What would happen if they were told that even if they were to gain the whole world they have nothing if they lose their soul in the pursuit of the dream of such things? Should we tell them? Might some still listen? Don’t worry; you won’t lose out, there are still plenty of mansions to go around in heaven.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham