By Oswald Chambers
We are made “partakers of the diving nature” (2 Peter 1:4), receiving and sharing God’s own nature through His promises. Then we have to work that divine nature into our human nature by developing godly habits. The first habit to develop is the habit of recognising God’s provision for us. We say, however, “Oh, I can’t afford it.” One of the worst lies is wrapped up in that statement. We talk as if our heavenly Father has cut us off without a penny! We think it is a sign of true humility to say at the end of the day, “Well, I just barely got by today, but it was a severe struggle.” And yet all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the lat grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him.
Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn’t they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God’s riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interest. It cause us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges – always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives.
Before God becomes satisfied with us, He will take everything of our so-called wealth, until we learn the He is our Source; as the pslamist said, “All my springs are in You” (Psalm 87.7). If the majesty, grace and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you… may have an abundance…” (2 Corinthians 9:8) – then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God’s nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time.
We are still learning these lessons. Don’t complain – because when you do, you fail to recognise all that God has done for you. Like everyone always says – if you set your sights on being wealthy, it will consume you: never will the day come when you can look around and say, “yep! That’s it. I’m completely happy with what I have now.” Then the newest TV or car or designer lounge room comes along and you’re stuck in the habit of wanting a particular standard, which consumerism has just make redundant.
We’re learning it slowly, the hard way. I thought we’d gotten there – a little extra money flowed into our bank accounts, just enough to get a few things, but it was gone again quick as that and all of a sudden my car needs servicing and new tyres and windscreen fix; we couldn’t quite make the rent, not yet; each thing – necessities, I’m tempted to call them – being put off again, again, again because we can’t afford it just yet.
Still I refuse to acknowledge the Source. Maybe in the quiet moments, when I’ve had time to gather my thoughts and reflect. But those are rare and it’s in the midst of everything, then I forget who’s really in control. I open my mouth to complain. Words come tumbling out about our tiny house with the log fire heating, about the empty cupboards, empty bank accounts, the cost of driving out from the country each day.
What a difference it would make – Lord grant me this – that instead of complaining, I open my mouth to praise, always; never to complain. Because the earth and everything in it is the Lord’s, and he has promised to be our provider, our safety. So long as we trust in jobs and people and our own abilities, we risk being disappointed over and over. If we trust in God, if we believe in what he has to offer, then even if we lost all our material possessions we would still rejoice in Him because only when trusting fully in Him are we freed from the burden of caring about what the world has to offer – because all it has to offer is endless greed, needless consumerism, and ultimately a hatred of self and others.