The Israelites left Egypt, left captivity with a reassurance from God that He would take them to the promised land. A journey that should have been a week, turns into 40 years. A generation later, they arrive at the edge of it and God tells them something. He’s not going to turn them loose on a vast expanse of land and let them ‘have at it’. Instead, He tells them, that as they would clear out and occupy the land, He would expand their land and their possession of it.
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land.
When I look at my life, there are certain things that I want in it that I do not currently have.
I want more ‘life’ in my life
I want more financial prosperity.
I want a wife.
I probably want kids, (although I probably want to keep my motorcycles a little more than I want those..at least for now.)
I want “X”, I want “Y”…maybe a little less of “Z”.
It’s kind of the American way,(whatever that is any more) and we desire, we go after things, we strive, we yearn, we stretch out for more. Wanting more, wanting different. Please understand that I’m not saying ‘wanting’ is not strictly an American thing, it’s a human thing, and, as American with the greatest wealth on the planet…we’re pretty good at this.
Let’s look at something.
There are natural laws that are in place in our world. You may believe God put them there, you may not…but you know they are true.
For instance, no one gets into good physical shape without addressing their eating habits. You can address your eating habits to slim down, but without physical exercising, no one gets into good physical shape. They go hand in hand.
There are things in life that must come hand in hand.
Where you have new land to grow crops, you must push back the weeds to keep the soil and crops protected. If you get a promotion, you must accept and tackle new goals. If you get into a new relationship, you must tend to that relationship. It’s a principal of this world that applies to physical, spiritual, mental, financial, and relational areas of your life. “To whom much is given, much is expected” is a principal of growth, promotion, and expansion.
The Israelites wanted the land but God gave it to them as they took control of it and tended to it.
In my life, that principal is in effect too.
There have been times that I have not been the best steward of my time, of my resources, and my growth has been stunted because of that. I’m not saying that God punished me, I’m saying that I asked for a promotion, but I Still was half-assing the responsibilities of my current ‘assignment. I didn’t act the role of someone deserving a promotion.
As an adult, you don’t give your child the keys to a Ferrari if they can’t keep from getting tickets with the family car. You don’t let the jackass who can’t keep a job have access to the family bank account. You don’t let the guy with the ‘bad boy’ image go out with your daughter who’s getting a scholarship for academics. Common sense, right?
Likewise, I don’t get access to God’s riches if I don’t manage the riches I’ve already got. “Riches” can be wealth, but it can also be resources, land, children, relationships, opportunities of advancement and responsibilities, etc.
Setting this against my own life, I don’t get a wife if I’m not willing to accept the responsibility that it takes to keep a wife. I don’t get more wealth if I’m not managing the money I’ve got. I don’t get used to further God’s kingdom on the center stage if I’m not helping those that are around me every day.
You may say “Hold on there Tony, I know lots of people who have those things without properly managing them”…and I agree, there are lots of people who mismanage things…but those things are often not blessing them…which is the where God says “the wild animals will multiply and threaten them”. What you do not manage well, can work against you. So, like a good father, He knows how much to give us, how much we can handle.
For example, the parable of the servants with talents. The one that gets the BEST return on the masters money is given EVEN more. He’s actually given the talents of others because he’s so good at investing his master’s wealth.
Are you asking for things?
Take inventory with what you have, what you’ve been given. If you are not managing God’s gifts properly, if you’re not a good steward of what you already have, then more is just going to be a waste, or going to possibly ruin you.