One of the most famous lines in all of literature—because it has been used in all sorts of media bits—is from Oliver Twist, when he says: “Please sir, I want some more.” Now, let me ask you, do you ever approach God that way?
Throughout the month, Dr. Randy is talking about his Intentional Living process in areas like finances, parenting and faith. And I suppose when you face those subjects, you may feel a bit like a beggar. But that shouldn’t be the case.
First, let’s consider finances. It’s not a matter of how much you make—or don’t make— rather it’s a matter of attitude and actions.
“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 all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12–13 NIV).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot to serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24 ESV).
And what about parenting? Do you ever feel overwhelmed or completely unequal to the task? There’s nothing unique about those feelings, but I think you’re selling yourself short. Have you ever thought that you needed more patience or kindness or gentleness, especially when it comes to raising your kids? Do you feel like Oliver Twist, asking the Lord for more? You don’t have to.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22 NAS).
You see, for you who love Christ and have made Him Savior and Lord, you HAVE the fruit of the Spirit. They belong to you. When Jesus saved you, the Holy Spirit took residence, and brought His fruit with Him. So, it’s not a matter of needing more patience or gentleness or kindness. Rather it’s learning how to use what you’ve been given. Don’t pray for patience; instead, ask your Heavenly Father to help you use what He’s already given you.
And then there’s faith. What did Jesus have to say about faith?
“At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.’ Jesus said, ‘You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.’ Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?’ ‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible’” (Matthew 17:14–20 NLT).
Now granted, I haven’t moved any mountains lately, but sometimes I think we forget just what kind of faith we have been given: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4–5 ESV). That’s the kind of faith we have—to be over-comers.
Rather than coming to God as beggars, remember these two things:
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Heb 4:16 NLT)
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NIV)
It’s all yours!