“Then Jacob prayed, ‘O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, LORD, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives and I will make you prosper’, I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.’” Genesis 32:9-10
It’s a fascinating thought that we gain resource just by existing. Seriously! There is an abundance of stuff and opportunity and it is all around us and it comes into our lives every day. The most valuable of these resources is other people of course. Through relationship, language, communication of ideas, and working together we take resources that already exist and build with that matter and energy other resources.
If I hang around long enough, I receive rain and can have water to drink. I receive seed or fruit and I can plant and grow more. I receive help and support and I can make a better step in life. I receive love and affection and I can be blessed with children. I can learn a skill and get a job. I can save and purchase a home. On and on it goes.
At age 45 I have a home, family of seven, two jobs, three vehicles, a garage, hot running water, almost 2 acres of land, a dog, four cats, a hamster, educated children, opportunity to better myself, and I just keep having opportunity to add more and more and more.
I think it is largely true that if we do well and care for the first things that come into our lives, we simply will not be able to keep up with all that will continue to come into our lives.
There are those who suffer extreme loss and this is not the case for such a life. But those are not very common. Even those who lose material goods to a disaster often have people who they can come back together with and find a new start with available resource.
This is all well and good until we find a problem with having too much to enjoy and use. Once this happens we must ask questions. Was I made to keep? Was I made to accumulate as much as possible and drape myself with it? I have so much I can’t pay attention to it all. I can’t enjoy it all. I can’t put it to use. If I save it all for my kids, they end up producing as much as I did and now gain more and more. Short of building a generational empire, what else is there?
Many people get on the money wheel. They chase the almighty dollar. Once they accumulate a lot of it, they see what more could do and they go after more, and then more, and then more. It becomes a way to status, a thing to drape over themselves rather than to help, serve, and provide opportunities. People are free to choose, but what if we took a different approach? What if we lived as rivers instead of reservoirs? What if we lived not to keep, but to use and to give?
Proverbs say that many are blessed if a good man has great wealth. But if the wealth he has is used as indulgence it ceases to become good. It is the quality of the man that makes the wealth good. Even a wealthy man like David streamlined his use of the wealth to eliminate indulgence.
Streamlining the individual and the motive allows the abundance to be kept in proper perspective and be put to good use.
As God multiplies our resource and riches, we can remain in the simple lifestyle by recognizing the greatest gain that can come from my abundance is the relationship I have to it, never draping it on myself, but allowing it to be flowing and fluid in the use of God’s will.
We can multiply and streamline at the same time and be more blessed than we ever dreamed possible. In choosing to streamline, we allow the abundance to increase and multiply even further, and that is a testimony to a lavish and generous God.
God’s resource properly used cannot be contained. It will spill over on all the floors and out the doors.