In or Out?

And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things before I die; don’t refuse me—banish lies from my lips and liars from my presence. Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9) 

Neither too much, nor too little - are we operating by the "Goldilocks Principle"? We don't want too hard of a bed, nor too soft - it has to be just right. We don't want too much food, nor too small of portions to satisfy - we want them to be just right. We don't want too much hardship, but neither do we expect to live totally without any - it just cannot be too overwhelming to deal with. Most of us want to live by the standards that "suit" us the best. The only problem with this is our inability to really decide on what "suits" us best. We have a "warped" idea of what is "best" for us - because we base what is "best" on what brings us the most comfort, suits our present needs, or just plain doesn't cost us very much to obtain. Not always the best way to make decisions, if I may say so myself! Too much allows us to live just a little too independently and too little might just lead to us making a few unwise decisions which we not only will regret, but which will bring dishonor to the name of God. If I get this scripture correctly, there is a fine balance God is looking for - one which keeps us close enough to him to feel deep peace, yet just hungry enough to move whenever he moves! Being so content with God's love that we desire no other - our hunger drives us closer, not searching for something or someone else to satisfy us.

Nothing satisfies quite like the magnitude of God's riches. Some of us imagine getting closer to Jesus than ever before. Indeed, a good starting place for our day - yet, if we draw closer to him and still don't reach out to others, we really haven't grown in the closeness he desires. We might just have become a little more "religious" instead of growing in the depth of our relationship with him. It is this relationship that brings us to the place of reaching out to others in need, seeking to share from the abundance of what we have found in our relationship. To become so "heavenly minded" that we are of "no earthly good" is not what God desires. In fact, he desires we become so "heavenly hearted" that we cannot help but be of "earthly good"! Neither too much - for it leads to independent thought and action. Neither too little - for it leads to misconduct and damaged reputations. Is the "middle-ground" what some may refer to as "mediocrity"? Nope, I think God has a perfect middle-ground for each of us which really makes us more "grounded" individuals. It is when we are close enough to his heart to experience his heartbeat firsthand, and yet not content to experience this alone. We want others with us in this experience, so we continue to reach out to those who haven't drawn close to him yet, drawing them into his presence and close to his heart.

Independent thought leads to independent action. I am a pretty strong individual - sometimes too strong for my own good. I can fix my own plumbing, but whenever I have to get down on my knees for too long to actually fit into those tight spaces, I find I don't bend as easily as I did before! I can mow my own lawns, but I pay the price of dealing with my allergies when I do. There are a lot of things I can do in my independence and strength, but the consequences of always doing things independent of God's direction and wisdom are not always those we'd like to experience! A lack of contentment can drive us in many different directions, cannot it not? Sometimes it drives us right back to square zero and we find ourselves relying heavily upon developing our relationship with Jesus a little deeper or afresh. At other times, it drives us toward more "promising" ventures - but the "promises" of any venture that takes us further from Jesus is really not any venture we'd like to be on. Trust me on that one! My prayer for us today - neither too much, nor too little. You in? Just askin!


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