Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 5 of “Fan or Follower – Invest Wisely” (LISTEN HERE).
Proverbs 23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
The wisdom of the Proverbs is worth pausing to consider and taking time to implement. These short statements of wisdom speak in plain simple language, but force us to go beyond the surface to the depths of our heart.
Our minds tell us that riches are temporary.
We have all had some experience where money we worked hard for “flew off” and we never really benefited from it, or at least were able to spend it on what we thought we wanted to.
Money we saved got spent on doctors’ bills after an expected illness.
A natural disaster leads to large repair bills.
Increase in inflation makes our dollars worth less and able to buy less.
Stock market decreases leave our retirement funds less valuable.
Certainly in all of these situations having money is helpful, but our logic agrees with the proverb that recognizes the material things in our life are temporary and can fly away.
So why do we wear ourselves out to get them?
I know the proverb says, “DO NOT wear yourself out to get rich,” but when the clear implication of why this statement is necessary is because WE DO wear ourselves out to get rich! If this never happened, the Spirit of God wouldn’t have to record the direction to not do it!
What does money mean for you?
This question is worth some reflection time. It is intended to get to our heart and understand the motivation behind the desire and drive to accumulate wealth. (Again, wealth is not wrong or sinful, but checking our heart will prevent wealth from becoming a spiritual detriment.)
Here’s some possible answers:
Wealth is a sign of status. What is driving the accumulation of wealth is my sense of worth and significance.
Wealth is a base for security. What is driving the accumulation of wealth is to have a security that I can address needs and situations in life without worrying about them.
Wealth provides stability. What drives the accumulation of wealth is to have certainty to buy my way through life with confidence I can provide for what I need.
Wealth provides safety. If I have money I can use it to secure the well-being of myself and family.
Again, each of these has truth to them and isn’t always bad motivators.
The challenge is Satan loves to move our heart from using money as a practical tool in life to provide for the present and plan for the future, to the element on which I base my TRUST for status, security, stability, and safety in life. When my trust turns from God to provide these things to earthly wealth, my heart has been captivated to believe the lie and now the material things have become god for me instead of a blessing from God.
So the wisdom of God in the Proverbs reorients our heart to encourage us to place our trust for all things of life in the Lord who provides status, stability, security and safety.
The things of this world will fly away…the things of the Lord will last forever!
Invest your time in HIM!
Apply: What motivation to accumulate wealth does Satan love to deceive you with?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the blessings of wealth. May my heart never be captivated by them and my life driven to accumulate them. May my heart always be focused on you and the wealth you give me used to honor you! AMEN.