I want a new car. I want to take a cruise. I want a designer handbag, a kitchen remodel..no a bigger house, a boat…heck, make that a yacht! I want, I want, I want! Does any of this sound familiar? Everyday we are assaulted with advertisements designed to convince us that we need more stuff, more exciting experiences. If you dwell on these messages you might even convince yourself that you are entitled to these things. And if all these messages were not enough, you have the Joneses. You know, those friends and acquaintances that have the shiny new thing. The upwardly mobile that keep attaining higher status, while you stay stuck in the same place.
This morning while I was getting dressed I was daydreaming about something I want to do, a place I want to go. The longer I thought about it, the more it changed from a daydream to an actual plan. I’m really ashamed to admit this, because I get to go a lot. It’s not like I’m travel-deprived. But before I could start googling hotels, the Holy Spirit chimed in. “Have you talked to the Lord about this? Is this the best way to spend money? Is there something else you should be doing? Then I remembered a Bible verse:
Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV
The New Living Translation specifies “true godliness,” and “great wealth.” God wants me to seek Him, not more stuff. He wants me to experience contentment. Contentment is a great feeling. It is awareness that I have everything I need. It is a stillness of soul. But when I get caught in a “want storm,” it doesn’t feel good. A want storm is an endless craving for more and more, bigger and better, shinier and prettier. And that craving is never satisfied with material things.
God desires to give me “great wealth.” The truth is, He has already provided it, He just wants me to be aware, to experience it. A few weeks ago I received a phone call at work from an attorney in Canada looking for an heir to an estate he was representing. Even though I knew there was no way it could be me, for a brief second I had that “what if” feeling, excitement over a surprise bequest. I think we have all had that fleeting thought of inheriting from a long-lost uncle. Well Jesus, as my Elder Brother has left me a fortune! When I am sitting quietly with Him, I have access to it. And I am then gratefully aware of all the blessings He has bestowed on me. I am content.
Lord, forgive me for the times I get caught up in wanting material things that never satisfy. Teach me to be always aware of the difference between wants and needs. Create a spirit of gratitude in me so that I am always mindful of my blessings. Teach me “true godliness” and help me to seek after it. And thank you for the “great wealth” that comes with knowing You.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19 NLT