As a Christian and a minister I am totally against the name it, claim it type of theology that permeates through our churches. We hear much teaching about personal blessing based on the philosophy, “ What so ever you desire, if you seek the Lord then it will be yours”
So I hear and see people eagerly desiring a new car, better brands of clothes, boats, better houses, better paying jobs, more authority, more money, more …more…more…more…. and see our identity as Christians being formed by how much we have or don’t have.
The basis of this teaching stems from passages such as
Psa 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart; and Mar 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
However what is sorely missed is the reference to what Jesus is meaning in these verses. Jesus is not encouraging idolatry, which stems in greed and is unfortunately passed off today in our Christian culture as being Godliness and faithfulness.
The key to understanding these Scriptures is to be found in Deuteronomy where God tells the Israelites Deu 4:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
The truth of the matter is Jesus is saying, If you seek the Lord God with all your heart, all your strength, all your soul / mind, you will find the desires of your heart which is God.
The Apostle Paul encourages those living in slavery that it was ok for them to seek freedom, and I believe it’s ok and Biblical for Christians to seek to be free from the slavery of poverty. Therefore a tension is formed between what is the boundary between poverty and personal / communal blessing. So what are we to do?
The key to our living is found in Math 6:20- 34. Here Jesus encourages us how God feeds the birds of the air, the lilies are clothed with beauty and yet don’t toil to do so and how much more valuable we are to God then they are. Therefore we are not to worry about what we eat, drink, wear or live.
In the quest for more, I see more people disillusioned. I see a lack of contentment with what we have; which equates to a lack of peace. There is a lack of good pastoral care towards the sick, the broken, the poor, within our midst which equates to a lack of gentleness and kindness when our supposed lack of faith or level of faith is brought into doubt. A sense of competitiveness can ensure, where Godliness and self worth is measured in our individual financial position. The quest for more lacks the fruit of contentment / self-control. The sense of loss or lack robs us of joy. And when we go through struggles we lose hope and want an instant out; instead of patiently waiting on the lord.
Instead of seeking more, Jesus encourages us to first seek God, to seek His kingdom and His righteousness and not to get anxious about that stuff. He reminds us that God will provide for all we need. We must ask ourselves if in our seeking for more, if it produces the fruit of love, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?