Little white picket fences

Proverbs 30:7-9, “Two things I ask of you, Lorddo not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’…

I think and pray a lot about America. I believe the Lord had my husband and I come to the Permian Basin of West Texas for the revival that is happening.

In October I joined our Pastor, Steve, and his wife Linda for a 6 week Saturday night walk around our church grounds. We were praying over our church in specific, but the only word resounding in my ears was awake. It lines up with what God was teaching me and still is teaching me in His word. Then at the Awake7:14 Conference during Holy Week- Jim Dennison highlighted the verse 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Is He calling only un-churched America wicked? Not really. I don’t think Christians are exempt from this.

Check that again. I believe He calls out to us, “If My people who are called by My name.”  He’s speaking to the Church. We must not be humbling ourselves, seeking His face, and turning from our wicked ways. So what are these wicked ways?

Well the opposite of humbling ourselves is pride. We have the “pull myself up by my own bootstraps” American dream. And I’d be lying if I said it didn’t just stay outside the walls of the churches. It creeps inside, too.

God speaks a lot of pride in the Bible. He really, really doesn’t like it!

Prov. 16:5, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
Prov. 29:23, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”
Gal. 6:3, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Prov. 26:12, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

and money…
Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
1 Tim. 6:17-18, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,”

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having enough, or having nice things. Jonathan and I have nice things, we make money. But I pray to God against my wicked self and my pride- asking Him to remind me constantly that living simply is enough, to give me only my daily bread. For instance; we have a lot of debt. Now it’s just school debt, but before we moved, we had $25 to our names, and all our credit cards were maxed out. I used it as an excuse not to give. I used to say, “Once we _______, we’ll start opening up our grip on our money.”

God rocked my picket fence with a blog post from “We Are that Family”. You can read it here. What God said to me through it was that if you wait to give, God will never entrust you with more. If you tell God that no matter how much you gain in wealth or possessions that it’s still His– then and ONLY then will He trust you with more. Matt. 25:40, “The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” See God isn’t in the game of blessing people just so they can keep their blessings and live comfortably! {Tweet this!}

Jonathan and I have found that if we continuously hold a loose grip on our checkbook and finances, always ready to spontaneously give, ESPECIALLY when it causes us to have to sacrifice, He always comes through for our basic needs. Remember the widow who gave everything she had in Jesus’ parable? Did she wait for an opportune time, or go all in? Mark 12:44, “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.”

I don’t even come close to the faith of that widow. In my opinion, we have WAY more in material wealth than “basic needs”. But God is shaking my ideals, one at a time. God should be enough. We should seek His face like 2 Chronicles 7:14 so much that wealth and prosperity actually start to look icky.

I wish the American Church would actually look less American with it’s bootstraps, picket fences, nest eggs and corporate ladders. I wish it looked more like that bride it should be.

Join me in praying for Awakening! It’s not always easy to wake up, but His desires are SO much more beautiful than ours- our bootstrap mentality, our American dream, our little white picket fences.

My life verse, Psalm 37:4 is different than when I was growing up, because I finally figured out what it means. “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” It really means that because you sought His face His purposes for your life will suddenly become clear to you, and you’ll love them more than your own desires. No where does it guarantee if you also delight in keeping all you earn… that you’ll be given that by Him. In fact if you read the Bible in many places it talks about how your heart can’t be devoted to wealth and God at the same time.

Matt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

He makes us choose between our desires and His desires. No option C, no door #3.

His desires are not easy to come by, but you can’t even believe how much more fun you’ll have in God’s great adventure when you don’t cling to anything but Christ! I’m on that journey, too. One foot in front of the other. I’m trying to lay down my excuses. Excuses that “needy people may try to take advantage of our generosity”; Or maybe that I don’t “truly love our future children if the nest egg and college fund aren’t ginormous.”

Not so. Two things I want to live by:

1. I’d rather get taken advantage of my whole life out of a whimsical naivety that truly sees the least of these,”

because, 2. “Jesus’ top priority on this planet was people, because they’re the only thing you can bring to Heaven with you.”


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