I Am Pretentious

Have you ever heard the expression, \”people are dying and going to hell and you\’re worried about…\”? It seems rather pointed that the question is meant to create this sense of small thinking in our minds; to get us to realize that we can be so pretentious about ourselves and our possessions (needs, wants, etc.). For the most part, it causes guilt in the hearer and leads to resentment towards the person who said it. But the reality of it is that we are being exactly that: PRETENTIOUS! I\’m not simply talking about greed, I\’m talking about trust. You see this statement/question truly reveals how we feel about God, money, time, work, possessions and who our source is.
Tonight I realized an excuse that I have always lived with and glossed over, when it comes to the missions service every year at the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God here in Waxahachie, Texas. I have always left before the service, because of needing to be at church, I mean after all its Wednesday night and my people \”need me\” to be there.

But actually its because I have grown cold to missions. If I were honest, I would say that I have even grown cold to giving in general. Its something I do, not something I have made a part of my identity.

Its nobody\’s fault but my own. I can\’t blame the church, or television or the news media; no I have to blame myself. Missions services always give you whats going on around the world, the plans of mission work and the vision of the leadership in missions. Then they have the audacity to ask the proverbial question that most people don\’t want to answer…it brings back the big bully who wouldn\’t leave you alone in grade school. The question is, \”What are YOU gonna do about it?\” I hate being asked that question, because it demands an answer. If I answer with silence or with \”nothing\” than I have simply said I don\’t care. But the moment I answer with an idea or a faith promise, then it almost certainly obligates me to actionable steps that must be taken to fulfil that promise. If only I wouldn\’t listen to the \”God-sized\” tug in my gut!

But as I said the truth is, when God tugs on us, he is asking for faithful obedience to his nudge. The proper response is to believe, right? Yes! But more importantly it is a lesson in trusting God, not just faithful belief.  God equips those he calls, and that isn\’t just in gifting and talents being offered to Him, its in all points of our lives. If God calls us to give, then he will equip us for giving. Money? In some cases yes, but what if its more about trusting God in the day-to-day and learning to live a disciplined lifestyle. The equipping is trusting God as the source of all things for us. How? Through the testing of our hearts. It begins in the tithe and as we begin to trust God with the 90%, He grows us in the area of finances by stretching our trust in giving more and living off of less. Dave Ramsey says we should \”live like nobody else, so we can live like nobody else.\” That\’s a great thought and to be a sure a promising one. But living like nobody else is more about giving like nobody else, its not about having so I can live, its about giving so I can live.

I heard Robert Morris say this a few days ago, when he was teaching on \”The Blessed Life\” sermon series on Tithe and Offering. He made the point, that the first thing a person does when they get paid, tells him (implying God too) everything necessary to determine who(m) their god is. As he put it, \”some offer sacrifice to the god of credit, before ever giving to the God of Heaven.\” OUCH! This makes you stop and realize the priority of God in our lives. If God is truly #1 as we say he is, then why is he 3rd or 4th and in some cases DEAD LAST when it comes to determining where money goes? We say God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is our provider and yet we treat him like he is a charity case that we give to, only when we are tired of hearing his petition and we have a little money left. We say \”my God shall supply ALL MY NEED according to HIS RICHES in GLORY by Christ Jesus\”, and yet we are more concerned with making sure every penny we earn is on that next paycheck so that we can do what we WANT to do. Trust me when I say that if tithing were a priority than our needs would be met and our wants would be silent. 

I ask you now, how do we silence our wants? Take time and contribute your thoughts in the comments section or after I link this to facebook, comment on there too!

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