Christian liberty is being set free from the things of this world. Our primary concern in life is not about maintaining our physical life with our physical stuff. Instead, we trust that our Maker will provide for us as He promised He would.
This is risky business. It flies in the face of planning and logical approaches to finances. Nerves will freak just reading about it, let alone actually acting on it. (By the way, I wrote a book about it if you want your nerves freaked, which I sell at no profit, by the way!)
The question behind it all is: Do you trust God?
Probably the verse most often quoted to buck us up in how great God is to His people is from Hebrews 13, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Oh, amen and amen, brother! Preach! Those are the words we love to hear! We love to know that while we’re out buying ridiculously priced houses and cars and entertainments that God is cheerily sitting on our shoulder nodding along with us, smiling at our smiles!
What a lovely scene!
And what an entirely un-biblical scene!
Allow me to quote the entire verse from Hebrews 13 that we love so dearly but only hear the end of.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
Wonder why we only hear the last part? These verses, always brought up in a context of trusting God, great verses about faith and liberty, begin with a command to depart from covetousness and be content with what you have. Again, being free from worldly stuff is what liberty is all about. It’s really, really consistent.
The idea is not that we stop wanting stuff and convince ourselves to be content with our ratty old couch. The idea is to begin with trusting God. Do you have faith? Do you trust that God cares for His people? Then being content and not being in bondage to covetousness are natural results.
Unfortunately, the Church has chucked this teaching. I’d be willing to bet you’ve never heard liberty being tied to physical things before. The reason why is because the Church is the leading organization wanting physical stuff.
Church buildings, in many towns, are the nicest buildings. We need our Powerpoint, and our cool instruments and audio equipment. We need our stuff! We need to be “respectable.” We have to “fit in.”
As we join in the world, trying to get our piece of the pie, we forget we have a giant dessert bar in heaven that is far better.
Next time you hear “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” see if it is in a context of not wanting stuff. That’s the context God put it in.