When Less Is More

It's the middle of the day and I'm looking at a small peso bill. What can it buy? Several diapers and a little food for the baby, some toiletries, but maybe not enough to give some to my friend for food for the week. Fear jumped on me. And worry started to woo me. Then as suddenly as it came, I remembered how God made Himself real to me by His Word, and worry was stopped in its tracks. I can still vividly remember that night...

In fact, it was past midnight. All was quite except for some sleepy noises from my husband. My mind wandered to our growing family. We just became five. I had given birth to Ella, our youngest then. And I started to worry.


I had stopped working when it was near my due date to deliver the baby and I knew  it would still be a long time before I would be working again. I knew I needed to be home for the family and to finish something for my studies. I knew God's timing was right. Yet, I couldn't help but worry about how we could survive with very limited income. Especially then, that we were already five. As we grew, our needs did too.


Feeling anxious, I got out of bed. God assured me when my fears about being pregnant was confirmed, that He is God, He rules, and He takes care of His family. Back then, I was relieved of all fear and worry and was confident that God would honor His word. But that night, those words felt so distant as worry webbed its way through my thoughts.


I took my Bible with me as I went to another room. I winced as the light glared when I pushed the switch on. And as the silent night enveloped me, I asked God to talk to me. I didn't know what to pray, but God knew what was in my heart and He led me to the account in John 6, wherein Jesus fed the multitude. I started to cry even before I read it. I sobbed as I asked for forgiveness. Why did I even doubt Him? I knew He is God but I allowed my mind to dwell on my worries rather than on Him.


At that moment God made it clear that as He was able to feed thousands, He could feed my family of five. And He has continued to do so even as we became six.


Looking at my money or the lack of it, I knew there is no need to worry. There is my need, though, not to allow worry to distract me from my worship.


Tough times come, but they also go. The only way to survive, staying tight on God when it's tough, is to get calloused knees and a heart firmed in the exercise of faith.


God doesn't mean to discourage me during tough times. He wants me to grow in courage and be strong.


He has said that He "will meet all our needs according to His riches" (Philippians 4:19). Paul did testify to this.



When Poor is Blessed

 

I know I won't be on my knees often when I am in my most comfortable. I admit it is often hard for me to seek God and give Him my all when all is at my fingertips. As my body and mind is full, my heart is famished. And it won't be long before I am restless and panting for life.

A.W. Tozer wrote in his book The Pursuit of God, "The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the "poor in spirit"... These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

It doesn't mean it is a sin to own things, but rather, to let things own us that they become the central focus of or lives. Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).


Going Less, Going More 

 

Does this mean God doesn't want us to get rich? That is not the most important question for a Christ-follower. It is imperative though to ask, "Am I rich with God?" And if the answer is uncertain, then to go more for God is the solution. As we see more of God and He takes center stage in our hearts, things and self fade. It is then that we see and know that less is more.

I am still far from being a beggar in my inward state, one without desire for anything besides my daily bread. But God has been giving me many opportunities to surrender. I believe all I have is His and time will come when He takes them back.

No empty castles for me. Nor will there be money or possessions my children will fight over. If anything, I want less of what the world clamors for more, so I will have the time and strength to give them what they need: the ability to work, the wisdom to discern when need turns to greed, and a God who owns everything.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." (Philippians 2:5,6) The Maker of this universe even had to depend on the generosity of others for a place to lay His head on. (I am blessed to have friends who never "grow weary in doing good".)

As I finish this post, my heart has shifted from fear and worry to the knowledge that I'm well cared by a God who loves and provides. I have gained a clearer perspective of 'being poor' and the divine calling for the kingdom of heaven.


And I have decided not to let fear or worry, nor greed, take the rightful throne of my King in my heart. May His Kingdom reign.






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