Terrifying for wealthy and middle-class Americans, perhaps.
Terrifying because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, what we’re told on TV and what we’re taught by our fathers and mothers.
Terrifying because it forces us to literally put our money where our mouth is. Read the verse below, then watch a short clip from Francis Chan here.
“Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.” (NASB)
Two important things to note. First: This was not written by Solomon, the richest man of his time. Second, this person is not praying for poverty; he’s not asking to be penniless.
The author is asking for God to be his all in all. He seems to be asking God to let him live paycheck to paycheck. He doesn’t want to be so rich that he looks at his 401(k), his checking account, his Mercedes Benz or his home equity and say, “Jesus who?” He doesn’t want to be so poor that the thought of stealing to survive becomes tempting. He wants just enough.
Will you pray this prayer with me? Will you ask God to give you neither poverty nor riches? Will you pray with Jesus to receive your daily bread? Will you stop asking God to protect your assets or to increase your financial blessings? Will you stop treating your Father like a cosmic slot machine, and instead treat him like the Father none of us had as children: A Father who possesses infinite wisdom, compassion, love, and mercy?
My family and I are about to do just that: In 3-4 weeks we will be moving across the country to Florida. We will have to leave possessions behind in our foreclosed home. We will burn through our savings. We will have to trust that God is guiding our hearts toward a plan of His making. For the second time in our lives we are making a major life decision driven by faith.
There are some of you who think this plan is crazy, foolhardy, and impulsive. I hope and pray that this second test of our faith will prove once again to you (and to us!) that God Is who He says He Is.