(Scripture References from the NIV)
I have been attending Gateway Church for many years. One thing our pastor – Robert Morris – does at the end of each service is ask us to think about what the Holy Spirit is saying to us as a result of the sermon we just heard. I like that. It makes me think about ways the sermon can be applied in my life in practical ways. At the beginning of each New Year at church we are given a small book of 28 daily devotionals to start our year off right; and at the end of each daily reading, it gives us a space to write and we are asked “What Is the Holy Spirit Saying to Me?” In the book handed out this year (2019) on day 17 was a devotion written by Stacy Barrett titled “Letting Go.” One of the lines in that reading grabbed my attention. It said “…I bought and kept things I didn’t need – just in case.” Then at the end when I pondered that familiar question about what the Holy Spirit was saying to me, my mind went to a place where I pictured this: If you have ever been around many small children at all – but especially if you are a parent, I am sure that you have witnessed/experienced something similar to this…..
You are in a store….the child picks up something and ask for you to buy it for them. For one of possibly many reasons you tell them “No.” Then the child starts to beg for it while you continue to tell them no and explain to them “You do not need it.” But the insistent child whines, or cries, or yells (and maybe even stomps their little foot for emphasis) and says “But I WANT it!”
As I thought about Stacy’s words, I related to the entire story and the full meaning of it all as she had likely intended for it to be interpreted. But, as I wrote down what I believed it was specifically saying to me, this is what I said: “I need to be more thoughtful about things I buy – just because I can. I should start buying out of need only and not so much out of want.”
I have always been a pretty good manager of my money. But by adjusting my thinking about need vs. want, it will help me to be an even better steward of the money that God has entrusted to me. It could help me fluff up that old savings account. I do not want to be like that insolent child and try to rationalize to myself “But I WANT it!” Instead, I need to seriously consider, do I need it?
I know that I cannot be alone with this dilemma. Do you need to be more thoughtful about your money management? Do you need to stop buying things out of want instead of need? Consider Psalm 103:1-5: “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul; and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” If we will praise our Lord with all our being, hopefully we will not forget all the benefits we can receive as a result – one of them being that He “satisfies your desires with good things.” And never forget what Jesus says in Matthew 7:11: “’If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.’”
Remember, we do not always deny our children those things that they beg for because we do not want them to have them. But sometimes they truly just do not need them. It will be the same as we ask our heavenly Father for things at times. It may be something we really want and maybe even think that we need. But we have to trust that He will do what is best for us just as we do our children. If we can focus our thoughts on our needs so that we are better stewards of what we have, then our heavenly Father will provide us with the good things we desire.
Written by Karran Martin – January 31, 2019