Back in the days when the ministry I worked for was my sufficiency, I never thought much about the world or decisions made by politicians. I would love to say it was because I trusted God to meet our needs, but in reality it was because the ministry did that. The fine line of trusting your employer to be your sufficiency verses God being your sufficiency is thin indeed and most people miss it including me.
In so many ways, we have all fallen into the trap of learned helplessness due to our dependence upon government programs, employment, savings or pensions to meet our needs. Gone, for most, is the ability to believe God can continue to meet our NEEDS even if the government ceased to provide funding, we lost our jobs or the stock market crashed wiping out all our IRA's and savings accounts.
The problem is that long ago in a different age, our parents or grandparents were able to survive the Great Depression because they never had much to begin with and didn't need much to survive. They didn't know what refrigeration, air conditioning, furnaces or computers were. Way back then, only the rich people had anything more than a light bulb run by electricity.
Those who lived through the Great Depression didn't just have to survive for a day, week or month; the Great Depression dragged on for a decade. Year after year people watched their life's savings evaporate, their employment disappear and their dreams crash in pieces on the ground. Yet, they somehow managed to not only survive but remain fairly happy. As long as they had a roof over their head, food on the table and each other; they could be content no matter what happened around them.
Here is the problem. Today when we read in the Bible that God promises to meet our needs, our definition of NEED is far different than when those promises given by God. He never promised to continue to provide the abundance we have all grown accustomed which allows us to live like royalty. God never promised to supply all sorts of THINGS which satisfy the cravings of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
We have learned to believe we NEED all these things because of the boom years between 1983-2007. The seeds of unbridled materialistic thinking and living were planted in the 1950's after World War II, when for the first time, "normal" people started having enough money to buy THINGS and then MORE THINGS and then BETTER THINGS. Over the course of the generation most of us grew up in, we learned that we just had to have THINGS in order to be content.
The truth is that THINGS never really make us happy; we just think they do. What has happened is that materialism has so influenced people's thinking that a branch of theology was developed to promote it as being God's will. The so called prosperity gospel has ruined Christianity for it has instilled in people's minds the notion that God wants His people to have every toy the world produces in order to be happy.
As more and more Christians have fallen into the trap of materialism, their very ability to love or serve God has diminished and ultimately disintegrated. Jesus Himself said plainly that we cannot serve both God and man and that no man can serve two masters. Yet, in spite of these words, millions upon millions of Christians believe they have somehow earned an exemption from these warnings and they somehow CAN serve both God and man.
As what was once GREED has been transformed into NEED, the mistaken belief has taken hold that God will continue to provide the means to live in mansions, drive luxury vehicles, wear designer clothes, have season tickets to all the local sports teams games, travel on extended vacations to exotic places all over the world and so forth. It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow when we come to the realization that it is all a lie. God never promised to support our selfish and self serving GREEDS. There are no such promises in His Holy Word.
Until we reach the point that we get honest enough to realize we have been duped, we will never be able to survive what is now only starting economically in our world. Until we reach the point that we understand we don't NEED any of the STUFF that fills our homes and lives, we will never be willing to sacrifice it in order to live a simple life in fellowship with God.
The Apostle Paul says clearly in I Timothy 6:6-10:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
Are we going to believe these verses or are we going to continue to believe the lie that God wants His people to have every worldly extravagance so we can live our lives exactly like the unbelievers who despise His Holy Name?
Are we going to continue believing we actually NEED all the stuff we have and thus demand God provide the means to not only keep it but keep getting more, or are we going to realize that we actually need NONE OF IT to be content? These are the questions we all must not only ask ourselves but demand answers to from our selfish materialistic minds.
The minute any of us mistakenly believe we deserve material things is the moment we have been deceived. The minute any of us demand we be allowed to keep those things is the moment we cannot really serve the Lord. The minute we sacrifice all those things at the altar of obedience is the moment we are set free to wholly serve the Lord and not our own selfish greed and lusts.