♣ Carelessness In Our Plenteousness
“PRESERVE ME FROM the intoxication that comes of prosperity; sober me when I am glad with the joy that comes not from Thee…May I be poor, afflicted, despised and have Thy blessing, rather than be successful in enterprise, or have more than my heart can wish, or be admired by my fellow-men, if thereby these things make me forget Thee.” – from The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
“…sober me when I am glad with the joy that comes not from Thee” really caught my attention yesterday morning and reminded me of Deuteronomy 8:11-16, “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.”
How many of us content ourselves with a happiness that does not spring from God? We all have our interests, be it sport, films, music, or some hobby and there is nothing wrong with enjoying them, so long as it does not replace our primary joy in God. David prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.” He was miserable without it and refused to content himself with anything to substitute that void. How is it with us, with so many things to sway our attention? We certainly live in an age where there is an instant remedy for everyone’s boredom; so many interests that God barely gets a moment of our undivided devotion.
Today is not so trendy for Christians to maintain God as their first love, their fountain of life and joy. If one does, to be unpopular in the common ranks of evangelicalism is guaranteed. It has become the vogue to be successful in our careers, our abilities, our relationships, positive self-awareness and independence, that to ‘throw’ God in there as a last resort to boost our moral values, has become the key to seal our goals and dreams. God is not the ‘icing on the cake’, and neither does He prosper us to be self-contained. A selfish pursuit of happiness reveals a heart that clings to God in desperate times but is just as eager to forget Him in moments of ease. I wonder how many of us sobered spiritually when the recent 5.8 earthquake spanned a few states in the same week as when Hurricane Irene launched for the East Coast. We have no problems getting our priorities straight then; everything else rightfully takes second place.
The peril of losing sight of God is more acute in times of prosperity than in times of poverty. In ‘The Parable of the Sower’, we have those that gave in, forsaking the faith during times of adversity because they had no root; their hearts were unregenerate to begin with, but with believers, it’s in times of ease, blessing and success that we are prone to forget the One Who gives us breath, and where we need to be most on guard against the enemy of our souls.
Psalm 36:9 wonderfully states, “For with You is the fountain of life.” HE is our reason for living; all other sources will have us continually thirsting for satisfaction, but in Him our cup overflows.
Posted on September 13, 2011, in ♣ Devotional and tagged Carelessness In Our Plenteousness, Deuteronomy 8:11-16, devotional, do not forget God, God is not the icing on the cake, God is our reason for living, in Him our cup overflows, Mark Anthony Williams, prosperity, Psalm 36:9, restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, take care lest you forget the LORD your God, the Fountain of life, The Parable of the Sower, the peril of losing sight of God, The Valley of Vision A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, undivided devotion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.