Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two Things I Ask of You

Two things I ask of you, O Lord: do 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? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God  

Proverbs 30:7-9

I wonder if we were to ask the Lord for only two things, would they be the same as this writer did? Keep falsehood away from me and give me my daily bread, no more and no less. This was a person who knew God. He asked an honourable thing because he knew what would please the Lord.  God loves a truthful person and hates a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17) and God has promised to meet all of our needs according to His riches in Glory (Philippians 4:19). I can only imagine how pleased God was when He heard this prayer. Here was a person with a pure heart. He didn't want to do anything that might dishonour his Lord's name and he never wanted to walk away from Him either.

It's so easy to get caught up in the 'must have' game or the 'bigger and better' game that so many people play. So few people are content with what they have and I think that is something we all have to guard our hearts against. The Apostle Paul said "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13

I once thought that I needed new furniture and a new wardrobe of clothes. I saw others with new cars and thought I needed one too. But I have become content with what I have and I realize that most of us could probably give away at least half of everything we own and we would still have too much. Right now, because we have just bought our first home in seventeen years,  our family is living between the parsonage and our own house. Needless to say we have had to purchase furniture for our home in order to still have the parsonage furnished. We've had to buy pots and pans and simple things like cooking utensils. Yard sales and hand me downs have met our needs perfectly and we've come to realize that we need less than we thought we did to be quite comfortable. It has been a good lesson for our whole family.

God will supply all our needs and He does. Sometimes I think we confuse 'wants' with 'needs'. I mean, after all, how much do we REALLY need? I only have four burners on my stove, so why do I have a cupboard full of pots and pans? When I bake, I usually use one large mixing bowl and one, sometimes two, smaller ones, so again I ask: why do I have a cupboard full of bowls? We've only taken what we NEED to our house from the parsonage and it is clutter free. I can open cupboard doors and nothing falls out on top of me. It is a more simple way of life but we all love it. It gives new meaning to 'less is more'.

The writer of this portion of Scripture cut to the chase and asked God for what was most important to him. Let me encourage you to cut out the excess in your life, whether it be possessions and clutter or activities which eat up your time,  and concentrate on what is most important. 

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