Over the past few months God has been showing me just how much work He still needs to do in me - I need to have a bigger heart for the poor, I need to stop being so selfish and consumed with the things of this world. I need to trust God MORE! Period!
I have realized in the last few weeks that I still rely too much (and find a sense of security) in money. I need to pray that God will "help me overcome my unbelief." I need to step out of my comfort zone and the security of my bank account and trust the "Only One" who will never fail me.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." ~Hebrews 13:5This adoption has opened my eyes to the world beyond myself, to the world beyond Oklahoma, and beyond the U.S. God is starting to give me a heart for the poor.
I recently read the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I don't think you can read this book without being changed; without wanting to have a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus.
Chan writes about our dependency on money and lack of trust in God - and about being "lukewarm" Christians. I read this book and walked away changed - desperately desiring more of Jesus and wanting to be a person who depends less on money and the things of this world.
Chan writes: "What is more messed up - that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor." We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich."
He adds that "being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually because "prosperity hardens the heart."
Chan then challenges the reader to desire God more than security. He says, "When it's hard and you are doubtful, give more."
In Malachi 3:10 God says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse....test me now in this, says the Lord. If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
Chan shares: "Nothing has strengthened my faith more than seeing God bless what I give back to Him, what I surrender at His feet. If you really want to experience God's supernatural provision, then do as He says. Test Him. Give more than you can manage and see how He responds."
Chan's argument that we rely too much on money and not enough on God, goes hand-in-hand with his descriptions of lukewarm Christians. This description hit too close to home:
"Lukewarm Christians do not live by faith - their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens - they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them - they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live - they have life figured out and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis - their fridge is stocked and for the most part, they are in good health. The trust is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God."
OUCH!!! God has some work to do in my heart!
I don't think I can travel to Ethiopia to bring our child home without a heart for the poor; without God drawing me out of my comfort zone to rely more fully on Him. The good thing is that God's word promises that He will finish the work that He has started in us - He will NOT leave us unchanged!
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 1:6