Is Your Definition of Abundance Bringing You Closer to God?

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom | Tags: , , , , |

In listening to Dr. Charles Stanley this Sunday, he said that “If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will.”

This was and is a powerful statement on many levels, and one which caused me to reflect on my own personal journey in a new light as it related to my perception of abundance and the inherent risks of what has been referred to as “abundance preaching.”

We are all of course familiar with the many scriptures such as John 10:10 (The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full), and Matthew 6:33 (But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you), and the promises they represent.

However, and in line with the first part of Matthew 6:33 (But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness), I could not help but wonder if we often times put the proverbial cart before the horse.

Specifically, how many of us “claim the victory” or the “promises of abundance” without really knowing if our definition is aligned with God’s definition of abundance and His will for our life.  In short, how many of us like the man in Luke 12:20 focus our attention on our view of what abundant living should entail at the expense (unintentionally at times) of a closer and more satisfying relationship with God?

I know from my perspective that hard work, and striving to succeed are considered to be admirable traits.  However my motivation behind said efforts in the past was focused on seeking a level of security that was eternally elusive as it was outside of a real relationship with my heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

I did (and at times still do on occasion) fall into the trap of equating a sense of security and well-being with the size of my bank account, instead of the eternal peace associated with a reliance on the abundant grace of my Creator.

It is within this context of course, that I gain an even greater appreciation of God “moving heaven and earth to show me His will” for my life, by His allowing circumstances to strip away every vestige of the false sense of security that came with great wealth.  In essence, by allowing me to lose everything, I in fact gained everything because I was put in a position of having to seek God and rely on Him and not material possessions.

This is an important distinction, because we often times apply our own interpretation to scripture as a means of getting to where we want to (or think we want to) go.

This is why in aligning ourselves with God’s will, we will avoid the pitfall of a hollow success in which the pursuit of lasting peace is always beyond our reach or, claiming a victory that God cannot allow as it would come at the heavy price associated with a perceived self-reliance.

Now some may say that in claiming the victory referenced in God’s word, they are in fact relying on God to meet their needs.  Like positive thinking or visualization, and there is nothing wrong with either of these in their proper context, they fall under the evangelical persuasion that “You do not have, because you do not ask.”

The danger of course is that without verifying what God means when he talks about abundance, and of equal importance, how our measurement of abundance corresponds with His will for the abundance he has planned for our lives, means that many Christians may very well be setting themselves up for disappointment.  And in failing to make this distinction, our teachers and ministers are inadvertently causing some to stumble and fall away when said expectations are not met.

For example, I am sure that when my young daughter asked if she could have a glass of pop for breakfast instead of milk or juice, she felt anything but grateful when I said no.  However, if I had acquiesced and given her pop, and then repeatedly yielded to her wishes to make her happy, before long she would likely find herself in the dentist’s chair with a toothache, or perhaps worse.

The point of course is simply this, by all means claim the promises of victory and abundant living referenced in God’s word.  We just have to make certain that we see and seek God has the true and only source of abundance, and therefore accept with it His definition versus our own.  Or in the spirit of these famous words, God may not always give you what you want, but He will always give you His very best.

When compared to God’s very best, all the money and riches of this world fade into obscure irrelevance.


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2 Responses to “Is Your Definition of Abundance Bringing You Closer to God?”

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I love this, Jon. My experience has been the same. We must begin by DOING His will of 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 “pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” If we will just start, always coming back to this fundamental, He will reveal Himself and His abundance to us, I promise…HE promises! How then, can we not become closer to Him?

Thank you for sharing this Deb. I especially like “He will reveal Himself and His abundance to us, I promise…HE promises! How then, can we not become closer to Him?”

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