My husband and I, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, have shorn down our life and lifestyle to accommodate our Christian walk. Now some would say that it’s a bit extreme, mostly because way too many Christians still want their one foot in the world. I mean, is it really necessary to have that $500 Kate Spade bag? Is it necessary to get a $1500 LCD/LED (whatever) television when the one you have works just fine? Did you have to get the new car?
This world in which we live allows us – wants us – to go into unsubstantiated debt to have things that others have…not just Christians, ESPECIALLY Christians. We are much more malleable to the government if we have a lot of debt. A lot of believers think that God will provide for their ‘stuff’ – and He will provide….to our NEEDS. We need food, we need clothing, we need shelter. We don’t need ‘stuff’.
While having coffee and beignets with my husband, we discussed whether Christians are supposed to live a lavish lifestyle, whether in or out of debt. The Holy Spirit reminded me that the Apostle Paul was a man of means, was born to a family that was considered wealthy. Saul (Paul) was highly educated, no expense spared for anything. As well, he hated these dirt poor Christians – they were expendable people, much like cattle to him. Why was that? Because he had means and they did not? Saul (Paul) believed in God – but not the gift of Jesus…at least not until the 9th chapter of Acts. The Pharisee of Pharisees looked down his nose and abhorred those that only needed Jesus to live a prosperous life.
Getting back to the 9th chapter of Acts, in a twinkling of an eye, a moment in time that he will never forget, Saul became Paul. Jesus had to blind Paul to get him to see. Everything was nothing; nothing was everything. The Damascus Road experience is something that not every Christian has been through. I know that sounds a bit strange, but think about it. When Saul became Paul, he left the world behind and its contents. I’m talking about basic bible believing Christians, not the prosperity movement.
Luke 9:3 says, “And he said unto them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece’.” Ah…this is where ‘The Lord will provide’! After our salvation, we are SUPPOSED to change into a ‘new creature’, not a spend thrift. And as a new creature in Christ, we are to show the non-believer our Jesus, not our wallet.
As well, Philippians 4:19 says, ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ By who?? JESUS CHRIST. Not Chase Manhattan Bank. Not CitiBank.
Think of it this way: while it is true in a general sense that God does supply the needs of His people, this is a specific promise that those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ will never suffer lack.
God gives us a lot of latitude to do His Will as well as just enough to mess it up. We are OBLIGATED to be the good steward that God wants us to be. He can put money in your bucket OR put a hole in the bottom of it.
And to summarize, 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…”