Back in the day
I remember the days when people used to say – Jesus or God is all I’ve got. Now I hear them say – He is all I got ‘left’. As if, I’ve tried everything else and came up short, so I’m turning to Him – He is my last resort.
I know we don’t necessarily say it out loud, but we act as if we have this rich uncle who will bail us out when we are in a financial jam or so, and if he doesn’t, well, than we can turn to God for some help.
So I guess the question here is who do you go to first when problems arise in your life? Do you turn to your well-connected friends in high places? Do you start looking for all the people to whom you’ve done a favor to get a pay-back, or do you turn to God?
If God is not our only option than we are going to continually rely on Wall-street, on our medical insurance, on our talent, our doctor, a rich uncle or even our pastor to help find a way out of our problems. But that is a slippery slope. Because we know that the arm of flesh doesn’t always deliver for us.
I believe in the power of reduced options.
What do I mean? Let me un-pack something for you in Psalm 123 and Matthew 6:
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us (ESV).
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light (KJV).
The servant and the maidservant both have reduced options. They depend on the master and the mistress for everything. They do not have the privilege of getting a second job. They have no other means of extra income. Servants and maids-servants both depend on the help of their master and mistress to survive.
The word single in Matthew means to plait or to braid. It carries the idea of refining one’s focus. The word comes from two words which means one voyage – one focus – one journey – or one option.
Therefore, just as the servants and maids-servants have no other options thereby looking to the Lord; I am going to look to Him, trust in Him, call on Him until He shows up in my life. I am not going to put my faith in man neither am I going to trust in the arm of flesh. For God alone is my source of help.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to visit my doctor anymore or seek counsel from wise mentors, but that I realize that my hope is build on nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness – He is the source from which all blessing flow.
I will go back to school, sharpen my skills, go out everyday looking for a job, take advantage of every divine connection and opportunity, do the hard work to become a better minister. Yet, God will be the front and center of everything I do.
He is going to use the hand of my doctor, speak through my mentor to give me wisdom and direction, He is going to touch the heart of the rich uncle to bless me, and if none of these come through for me, my eyes will still be locked on Him until He has mercy on me.
Jeremiah 17:5, 6, 7, 8
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in ean uninhabited salt land.”Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”