God has definitely been working on me in regards to where my security lies.
Like everyone right now, the economy is definitely effecting us, as I wrote about a while back. I haven’t continued to write about it because there is just no value in that. However, there IS value in sharing what I’m learning from God through it.
I am a numbers girl. I have an accounting degree, keep the books for two companies, and love budgets enough to put it down as a “hobby” on a questionnaire (however I never would, seeing as how that would brand me as a complete and utter geek), (which I am, but still).
So naturally, a lot of my focus is on financial planning. I plan and I budget and I logicize and I scrimp and I save and I pay off. . . all because I want so badly to build my house on the rock and feel completely secure and never have to worry again.
Then when things that I can’t control cut into my perfect little plan, my house of cards come tumbling down.
As much as I would like to secure my own future, all of this energy is being wasted. I am building on the wrong Rock.
In Matthew 7, Jesus says:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus was making the point that we are to build our futures based on Him and His Word, not the things of this earth. My security, my Rock, needs to be Him, not all of my own planning and budgeting and working to make things work out “just so”.
If I’m panicking because things aren’t going like I planned, then I need a whole new foundation, a whole new set of tools, and a whole new blueprint. I need to focus on my relationship with Christ, and let him take care of the details.
Psalm 127 says:
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
I can waste all the time in the world budgeting my resources and obsessing over my budget, but it’s not going to do me any good if I’m not choosing to put the Lord first in my life and completely rest in His care.
In Matthew 6, Jesus says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I am going to admit it – I stink at this. I’m good at not worrying if things look pretty good, but when things look bad, I panic. When things get outside of my little box of control, I DO. NOT. LIKE. IT.
But that’s when it becomes all too obvious where my focus is: when the worthless things I care for are threatened. And as much as I hate it, that’s healthy. It’s good for them to be threatened so that I can realize how out of whack my priorities are and get them back in line. I don’t want to lose focus on what matters!!
We studied the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31) Tuesday in Bible Study, and it really nailed down what God has been putting on my heart. The thing is that it never says that the Rich man was cruel to Lazarus, or was irreverent, or broke any laws. It didn’t say he was dishonest, haughty or proud. It didn’t say he was a bad man at all, in fact, from the description given (or more from what wasn’t said), he probably would have been referred to as a virtuous man.
So what was his crime? Why did he go to hell? Because he didn’t follow God and make God a priority. He was completely focused on earthly comfort and made no preparation for eternity. Even though he was giving to the poor (Lazarus), his good deeds didn’t, couldn’t, and wouldn’t save him.
Now I know that I am saved. I am a child of God and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get off focus sometimes. A lot of times. I start to try to control things on my own and trust in my own ways. I try to build up “my” life here without regard to what God wants for me. I depend on myself instead of God, even though God is SO much more dependable than me.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 says:
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.
But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
I want to build with God’s tools, God’s building materials, and with God as my Rock. I want my work to be worth something. I want to make a difference. And I want to quit worrying about how I’m going to make my own life work out the way I want it to.