Before I start, I just want to ask you to pray that God reveals to you what He wants as you read this. Ask Him to open your mind and heart, that you will receive my words well.
I was talking to a friend this week about something and then again today. It seems God is teaching me a certain principle about Him and I have been given the opportunity to share it with a couple people already. Sometimes, I don't know everything God has in store. And even though I know He is a loving God, I catch myself asking, "Does He really want this for me? Am I being selfish?" Because I feel like so many Christians think that God doesn't want us to live a rewarding life, or a blessed and fulfilled life. Especially, if money is involved. First off, money isn't good or bad. It depends on the person - good people do good things with money. Bad people do bad things with money. And even though I don't agree that material things should be idols, I do believe that there isn't anything wrong with having nice things. Dustin and I are building a business right now, to make money. More money. But I believe we are blessing others with this business and when the money comes in, we have plans for it. I know that if we were blessed with abundance, we would share the wealth. We have so many people we want to help out monetarily. Just like today, I had lunch with a friend who is struggling financially right now, and has been for the past year and a half. If I already had extra cash, you can bet I would anonymously be slipping some into her purse. Now, I do want a nicer home, and a nicer and safer car (yes I know we have a pretty good one right now and I am thankful - but it won't last forever), but is that really so wrong? As long as I am not idolizing it and making it my priority, I believe the Lord wants to bless us like this at times. As much as I believe that God doesn't want us to be poor, He also doesn't want us to hoard. If I had more, I would share more. I believe God blesses those He can trust. Because the money isn't ours anyway, it is His. We are just stewards over it and He decides how much we can handle. Dustin and I have made poor choices in the past 4 years of marriage, concerning finances, but I believe we are learning to make better choices. We tithe every month, whether money is tight or not. We have made that decision to give God what He asks of us. That in itself has made a huge difference. We have faith that He won't drop us on our tooshes. Because He does want us to have a rich life (not necessarily monetarily). At the same time, if you don't believe that He wants the best for you, then you probably won't have the best. We have to believe it before we will ever receive it - that is faith! I heard this expression one time: "If you think you can't, you're right. If you think you can, you're right." How are we thinking? And do we really believe that God wants to pour His favor on us? Now, I have a friend who had a problem with that word, and I understand what he meant. Let me try and explain what I think God's favor is. (Refer to Ephesians 2:7) Basically, you need to expect God's blessings. Make room in your own thinking* - remove negativity and focus on being positive. What I mean by that is, have nice thoughts about yourself, and when things are going not so good, keep an uplifting and faithful outlook. Don't dwell on the bad things - don't criticize and complain that nothing ever seems to go your way. Stay positive. God's favor is His joy, that He wants us to have. Read Matthew 9:17*. God cannot give us His blessings if we are not open to them. Just like in Matthew it says, "You can't put new wine into old wineskins." If we keep a defeated attitude, a faithless attitude, God can't bless that. He wants us to see all that He wants for us. Even though we are here to be His disciples and to make disciples, He wants us to have a great life on earth. Yes, there are rewards in Heaven that nothing on earth can measure against. But there are rewards here too. Don't think of it as being selfish or better than anyone else. Because we aren't. We are saved. We just need to remember that He is a giving God. Faith is believing that good things are always coming your way. Does that mean you won't ever have a bad day again? No, of course not. But keeping His favor in mind and staying positive and faithful through the sludge is how He wants us to live.
Another thing my friend and I were talking about was the fact that there are faithful Christians out there living in mud huts and serving Him in more desolate areas. True. Does that mean they are not living a rich life or have the favor of God? No! They are doing the best that they can with what God has given them in these situations. They chose to do that and that makes them fulfilled. Not everyone is called to do that. But those that are, are faithful and filled with the Father's joy. Why? Because He has placed it on their hearts, it is their dream to do what they are doing. They have the favor of God.
God has had this on my heart for a while now, and I hope that as you read this that you saw how much God wants for all us. Also, I am not writing this out of selfishness, trying to turn His words and meaning into something materialistic. To wrap it up, just know that God truly loves you and wants the best for you.
*From book Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen