Most Americans have a love affair with stuff, with material comforts, with physical reminders of comfort and plenty. I’ll admit, my family has been no different, until recently, when we started to make a conscious effort to change all that. In times past, such as what we find in the New Testament, the saints did without many comforts. Christ Himself even made a remark about no place to call home and rest His head. And truth is, there are many saints today without even a fraction of the plenty we in America tend to have. All of this stuff clutters our minds and our hearts. We forget that all we really need will be provided by God.
And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.” – Genesis 14:19-24, ESV
Having defeated the armies that took Lot prisoner, Abram was likely able to capture much of the spoils. Certainly he got back what belonged to Lot. Of course, one of the first things we see is Abram giving back to God. This shouldn’t surprise us, because it is in keeping with Abram’s character. Just like building the altar after he and Lot separated, Abram worshipped God. And so it should come as no surprise, either, than when asked by the king of Sodom for the people belonging to that man, Abram didn’t just give him back the people, but all the stuff that belonged to this man, excepting the shares of those who fought with Abram. Abram himself wanted nothing. Why not? Simply, it was because he was depending on God Most High and didn’t want to say that the credit for his wealth, his success, or anything folks might want to praise him for belonged to anyone but God. God would get all the glory, as He was due. No person would take that away.
We need to be careful with opportunities that come our way. We need to ensure that they are of God and that we act according to the way God would have us behave with regards to those opportunities. This is true whether we’re talking about jobs, about vacations, about potential financial windfalls, even the friends we choose to make. Just because it’s an opportunity doesn’t mean it came from God. After all, what may look like an opportunity may actually be a prison; we just don’t see it at the time. Seize the opportunity, however, and we will. There is a need for discernment for each opportunity. There is also a need for an attitude that says, “I depend on God for my needs. He will provide. So long as I am walking with Him and my relationship with Him is strong, I will see those things I need to act on and I will also see those things I need to leave alone. Just because it looks like something great on the surface, doesn’t mean it is.” Some of these opportunities will seem like huge gains from a worldly perspective. However, if they make us more worldly and less godly, they are a terrible loss for us.
Are there opportunities staring you in the face today? Have you gone to God about them to try and discern whether they are from Him or not? Have you sought His advice on whether to pursue them or let them be? If not, take the time to do so. He has promised wisdom for any of His children who ask of it and aren’t wishy-washy about following it. And if we are saved, we are His children, not because of anything we’ve done, but simply because He has willed it. As our Heavenly Father, He wants what is best for us. Not what appears to be best for us, but the real thing. But that means seeking His face to hear His voice. Let us not neglect His counsel because we think more highly of our own than we ought.