Friday, July 23, 2010

The Almost Forgotten Principle

We always remind ourselves of being contented - to always give thanks to God in everything we have and in every circumstance we may be into. We know comforting words such as “God will provide”, “God will never leave nor forsake me”, “The Lord is my Shepherd”, etc.

I know these words in my heart and I always pray for contentment. I always try to remind myself Matthew 6:34. But I do admit that whenever life presses hard against me, I become anxious. I may not be as worried as a freak yet there are some words and actions I do and utter that I now realize don’t glorify God.

Thanks be to God for our Com-Com (Communicating with the Godly my Communion with God) last July 16-17. It was themed “My Need of Poverty”. Striking passage during that night of devotion was Hebrews 13:5-6:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

I was deeply moved by God; He reminded me of the principle He has taught me. From time to time God has taught me to trust Him. One of the first few verses I learned when God called me was Matthew 6:33. Since 1997, God has indeed been my Provider. His providence and His divine intervention in my life is very evident that I lack nothing. Majority of the things I possess are blessings from others; I seldom buy my own stuffs. Elementary up to college years, stuffs needed just come on time. God has raised me to really depend on Him and to trust His providence. I did not grow in a rich family; in fact, I witnessed how we suffered from poverty and injustices that I even promised myself to gain all I could have and avenged my family. But thanks be to God; He found me. I am not rich now; however, I live a carefree life because my God sustains me.

But deception works in a very fraudulent way (otherwise it is not deception anymore). Nonetheless, nothing can be hidden when exposed to the illumination of the Word of God. I never thought that discontentment and anxiety have crept into my heart. Let me share what God has revealed to me that night and how this truth reminds me of my almost forgotten principle:

THE WARNING: Keep your lives free from the love of money

This seems to be a very simple command, don’t love money for the love of it is the root of all evils (I Timothy 6:10). In King James Version, it says:
Let your conversation be without covetousness. NIV refers to living while KJV means conversation; NIV warns against the love of money while KJV against covetousness. I was puzzled by the different terms my NIV and the KJV use so I consulted some versions and commentaries. They do not contradict each other. Conversation is part of our living and covetousness is rooted from the love of money. This text is a matter of lifestyle, of conversation, of living. You can not say that you don’t love money yet your lifestyle and your words manifest covetousness. Therefore, covetousness is there because the love of money is there.

Does that mean when I utter “
Your shoes are cute. I hope I can have one also.” is dangerous especially when in fact I still have one I can use? Yes, it is. It somehow shows the desire of the heart. Ouch! But I thank God for such a rebuke from His word.


The remaining part of the text provides the antidotes for this covetousness which is rooted from the love of money.
  • Be content with what you have
Contentment in God is not just a matter of being happy while single or praising God though suffering. It involves money matters; material things are integrated here. Think of the disciples, who among them live luxuriously? Does anyone of them desire more than enough (yes, it is Judas alone and look what happened to him)? Think of our forefathers in faith. They were great men of God who are living contentedly in the Lord; they have put money in its proper place. They care not about material things.

You desire for more stuffs because you are not contented with what you presently have. You want more because the heart deceitfully says you need more. You want more because you see others have more. You see others have them more because you can not see that you have enough. You can not see that you have them enough because you are not contented with what you have.
  • Trust God’s promise
In our text, God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In Deuteronomy 29:5, God tells the Israelites, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.” Wow! This is such a guidance and providence of God. Here and many more passages testify that our God is our Jehovah Jireh. So on which between this two do you stand: God deprives you of what you want or He gives you what He sees you need? Your answer determines your heart and your view of your God. This is another sharp knife that exposes the deception I clung.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus reminds not to worry. He exemplifies how God cares for the sparrows and utters
Are you not much more valuable than they?(v.26b). He mentions how the lilies are clothed and warns that the pagans run after all these things (foods and clothing or safe to say temporal things), and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Our Father in heaven knows what we need, all these things that we need shall be added unto us. Let us trust His promise.
  • Boldly declare “The Lord is my Helper”
The Lord is glorified when we depend on Him, when nothing we hold but Him. He who is contented with what he has does not only trust God who never leaves nor forsakes him but also declares boldly and confidently that God is his helper.

But you can not boldly declare unto the world that the Lord is your Helper if words that come out of your heart reflect covetousness and if your lifestyle denies contentment. Who will believe your message if you also contradict it with your living? Do you really trust God when you are anxious? Are you contented when you always utter “deficiency”? Do you not love money when your conversation is full of material things?

Moments of how I grumble due to scarcity, praises I garnered because of glut fashion, even utterance of the desire for some unnecessary things suddenly flash back into my memory that I yearn to shrink out of shame. I have proven how faithful God is especially in providing my needs yet how come I forgot that with the way I live now. Praise be to God for His Word that strengthens a crooked thinking and living. Glory to God for reminding me of this passage before lies totally kick it off from my heart. I thank God for the Com-Com He used to lead me unto the right path again; I thank God for our speaker that night for using him. Praise and honor and glory to God!

“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Pro 30:7-9)

This is the prayer of Agur and the text during our Com-Com. This is my prayer also. May it also be your prayer.

(photo is from
Copyright His Beloved 2011.