Take heed lest you forget the Lord your God, by not keeping his
commandments and his ordinances and his statutes which I command you this day: lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly 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.... who fed you in the wilderness with manna which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.
Beware, lest you say in your heart: "My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth."
Piper continues the warning:
He led them in the wilderness, it says, to humble them and test them, to do them good in the end. What good? The full stomachs, and houses, and herds, and flocks, and silver, and gold?
You don't need 40 years in the wilderness to teach you how to get wealth. The good that God aimed to do through the wilderness testing was to make the people intensely, deeply, and lastingly conscious of their total dependence on God for everything. God aimed to give them experiences in the wilderness which would make it impossible for a reasonable person to say, "My power, my might, or my hand has gotten me this wealth."
The real testing ground of life is the promised land of prosperity. The wilderness is the boot camp, the land of milk and honey is where the battle for the heart is finally fought. There are more scorpions and fiery serpents in the goodly houses, and flocks, and herds, and gold, and silver on this side of the Jordan, than there ever were under the rocks in the wilderness...
Though I'm sure a much more intense wilderness will come one day than what we've experienced this past year, I don't want to waste what it was. I did learn that God is faithful. I did learn that He is for me and that He alone is my Provider. I saw Him part the seas for us on numerous occasions, and I know that He will never, ever forsake me.The battle for me is to not forget the above paragraph when I'm tempted to believe that life is in riches and comfort......and full stomachs, and houses, and herds, and flocks, and silver, and gold.
God, you have brought us through a wilderness that you might humble us and test us, to do us good in the end. You have been kind and merciful over and over and over again. May I not pridefully hoard and take credit for and put hope in the milk and honey you give us.
You are the rich reward.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday I start my new job teaching K4-6th grade music at Covenant Classical two days a week. A week from Monday the students will come. And our finances will change.
The Lord has brought me several opportunities to work part time over this past year and nothing has panned out or felt right until this came along. I feel 100% that this is from the Lord as His provision. And more and more my heart has been stirred about future plans Josh and I dream about (more children, possible adoption, overseas travel), and how they aren't possibilities with debt.
So now we have the opportunity to pay off our debt this year, but if I'm really honest, the idea of not having to live so tightly,buying a bigger house, eating out after church occasionally, splurging at Starbucks, more elaborate date nights, or just feeling a little more room to breath has become very alluring.
I catch myself day dreaming and without realizing it, making little plans in my head about how I'm going to make up this past year to myself. It sounds completely awful and self-serving when I write it down, but it creeps into my daily thoughts so subtly.
Don't get the idea that I'm making a lot by any means, but a little feels like a lot when you're used to little.
I know God knows the temptations I deal with and I came across an article (written when I was 2 1/2) that really got at my heart.
Posted by Dana Hartness at Friday, August 17, 2007