We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are not to be of the world, yet we must live in this world, we must, we think, provide for our families even though the Lord God has promised to provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory. (Phil. 4:19)
We seem to have some difficulty with this and other verses though when it comes to our cooperation in the receiving of those riches. How much are we to do, what is our position supposed to look like before we can be the benefactors of those riches. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground,” (Gen. 3:19) How do we find that line that says that we are required to work for those daily needs and the fact that the Lord said that if we seek the kingdom of God first and His righteousness, (Matt. 6:33) that those needs would be provided. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2nd Thess. 3:10) The man who is able to work, but chooses to remain idle, should not be provided for, but does our Lord see this as our daily toil for the world and the needs and things of it, or for Him.
Are we to presume that those who have the ability to work, no matter their proficiency or the field they have been given the abilities to be employed in, are being blessed by the Lord with the fulfillment of Matthew 6:33, the path to the blessings of the Lord for the needs of the world come thru our daily employment, most generally today by obtaining money for those needs. I mean no offence here, but are not the lost doing the exact same thing, for different reasons of course we would like to think, they get up, they go to work, they get money, and they have been provided for, yet they are not seeking the kingdom of God and most definitely not His righteousness.
We can of course add in here Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men;” and we should recognize that it is only by His mercies that we are able to perform these tasks, and so we give Him the glory, but have we as Christians moved past the point of just the daily needs, have we become part of the world and the things that it can offer us, continuing to work for more and calling them the blessings of the Lord? When is enough money enough, is there a point where someone can say, “I have accumulated enough money” or if you like, “The Lord has blessed me with enough finances to provide for what I believe will last the rest of my life, I no longer need to work for any more money.”
Does this thought process turn us into the man in Luke 12:18, “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” Are we expected to toil our entire life, accumulating more and more money, hedging against a long life and all of the failings that come with it, is a Christian ever allowed to retire from the pursuits of the things of the world, should there be a day when the accumulation of things and experiences that the world offers hold no meaning., and so further funds are no longer needed, when the time has come that what you have stored up is enough to supply your needs for the years to come. When can we stop working for money, when is enough enough?
“Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.” (Acts 6:2) These verses imply that there are Christians, and there are spiritually mature Christians, or better yet, those who have been called out of the world completely by God to serve Him full time. These are to be provided for by those who have not been called out in this manner, those who must still toil in the world. In this I can find the fulfillment of Col. 3:23, for we are proving then the needs of those that God has chosen to work for Him and serve no desires of the world. When does a man, who has funds available to him, for what he can best determine, the rest of his life, know that it is time to stop going to work for more money, and begin a fulltime service to the Lord, or should the money be of any consideration. Where does the line of faith and not tearing down barns and building new ones lay?
Take a moment here if you would and look around your house, if you have been blessed in the possession of materialistic items, your sofa, bed, refrigerator, even the pictures on your walls or the lamps and carpet on the floor. I would ask that you not consider here for a moment how much money these and all the other items you own cost, but how much time did each one of them cost, how much time away from the service of the Lord and instead serving the world did each of these items cost you? The Lord has promised to supply all of our needs, if we seek the kingdom and His righteousness, so are all of these things, needs, or wants? How much of your time did that toaster cost, the blender, your vehicles, even the books you own, how much of your life did you need to give to another so that you could obtain these things, when that time could have been spent for Him.
I contend that the majority of the followers of Jesus Christ are not working for their needs, but for their wants, they have fallen into the trap of the world, the envy and strife that covers all of the lost on this planet, they are working to fulfill the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and to a degree, the pride of life. We get up, we go to work, we come home and then repeat the same pattern for the majority of our lives to obtain more, and call them the blessings of the lord. And for far too many, they are forced by their own design to continue in this path, for they have also refused to remain out of debt, the accumulation of the things of the world would not, not could not, be waited for, and so they have put themselves in bondage, serving the world and the things it offers instead of being patient and learning to wait.
It is a deep seated, ingrained ideology, the Lord will supply all my needs, but I want more, so these things that I now possess have become my needs, and so I must work for more money to retain these things, and gain even more by the accumulation of money to obtain even more things of the world, but I will call them the blessings of the Lord. Our so wants have become our “so called” needs, we have come to expect what we believe we deserve, and we are willing to toil for the entirety of our lives for the things and experiences of the world. Who is the more spirit filled man, the one who has enough money and more and is able to no longer work and devotes his time to the service of his Lord, or the one who devotes that same service, and trust daily for the lord to provide his needs, no matter his finances.
There is a decision we must all look at here, are we working to provide for the continuance of all those wants that we have obtained, or for the true needs of our daily lives. Do we believe that the path that the Lord has for each of us is a lifetime of employment for the gain of money to supply our needs, are the riches of his glory in the materialistic sense that job that you go to everyday, or are they strictly spiritual. Are we to work as unto the Lord so that we can get a new television, is your life being spent in the accumulation of material things, or spiritual things.
When does a want become a need, and how many of those things that you now possesses are actually needs. When will we stop working for the world, and start working for Christ.