The worries of life can lead us to long for wealth, thinking that it will help us find happiness. But these thoughts mean God’s words and God’s ways get choked off, and we bear no fruit toward lasting achievement.
We need to understand that money and possessions are actually neutral. It’s our belief system about these things that leads to either freedom in God or bondage to self.
The Apostle John warns us against the bondage of setting our affections upon possessions, looking to them to meet our need for significance and meaning and not in Christ Jesus.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. …The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." -1 John 2:15, 17
You can see that the possessions are not wrong, but setting my affections upon them causes me to miss what God desires to do in and through me for His glory.
The longing for true meaning can only be fulfilled by God Himself, not by any amount of money or possessions.
My deepest longing for meaning and significance and God’s desire and plan for my life are not in opposition to one another. Together, they are the fulfillment of all that I truly desire as a Christian.
Every alternative to Jesus has failed, is failing, and will fail. Jesus has met, is meeting, and will meet every situation with His grace, power, and sufficiency. I only need to trust Him.
Paul once wrote to Timothy:
"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." -1 Timothy 6:9-10
If God allows us to be wealthy as we follow Jesus with all our heart and soul, so be it. But if we are driven to be rich because we desire to be important, our affections are in the wrong place.
Remember what Jesus’ words about worry, riches, and possessions were? They can hinder the Word of God in our hearts.
We all fight these battles in life, but Jesus' Kingdom and His ways are contrary to this world’s system. So fight the good fight of faith to trust the Lord with the worries of this fallen world.
Our invitation from our heavenly Father is this: Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to us. We must constantly be on guard about the pursuits of our hearts. Let us continue to seek His plan for us before all else and draw ever nearer to Him.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.