George Muller fed 10,000 orphans on faith, but the suffering of England’s orphans wasn’t his only concern. He also did what he did out of compassion for the man working 14 hours per day to support his family. Muller wanted such overwrought disciples to know that they could take Jesus at his word – that if they sought first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, their needs would be met.
But why would Jesus say such a thing? Because he knew that the pursuit of our own sustenance and security would utterly consume the resources we manage unless we put his kingdom first. He could peer down through the ages at people in every time period and socioeconomic situation to see them spending their every moment putting out fires and attempting to prevent new ones while the work of the kingdom sits idle. All the while they would be telling themselves and others that they would get to the work once their own house was in order. What rebellious servants we are! We are servants in our master’s house. His work is our concern. Our sustenance is his.
Let me share a couple of personal examples to highlight what I’m saying:
I’ve heard several people say that they need to work hard and keep their money so they can pay for their children’s college education. I applaud the intention but here are a couple of items to keep in mind. First, college is overrated. Who says a person must attend college? If they attend college, who says they need to attend right out of high school. I know a young lady who didn’t have the funds to attend college but she had a lifelong dream of ministering to the deaf. So, she took a gap year. During that time an opportunity to attend a school she could afford that had an excellent sign language major program opened up. My own son, Caleb, went into an apprenticeship during his high school years. He now has highly marketable skills with unlimited opportunity for growth. He’s also just purchased his first investment property at age 22. My daughter, Christina, is entering her junior year at the U of A. All of our transitions into ministry left us with no savings for her college. Yet, she’s been able to carry a full course load and to this day she has zero college debt. This year she actually has a surplus toward her schooling. God has provided time and again. Not only is she receiving a wonderful education but her faith has been vindicated and built up through God’s provision.
Certainly we must work at whatever vocation God has given us, but God is our master, not our taskmaster. He provides materially for his servants. Do we believe that? Can we abdicate the ultimate responsibility for our survival to him and engage today in kingdom work? This will mean that we can eat our daily bread and give away whatever we would otherwise store up for tomorrow knowing that more will come to us then. It will mean that we can choose time with our physical and spiritual family over taking overtime. It will mean that we can do our best to serve our earthly boss but only worry about pleasing our heavenly Boss.
I have more I can share on this but I will save it for next week. In the mean time, I ask you to question your assumptions about where your provisions come from and the things which must be paid for. I ask you to consider what you would do for the kingdom if money were not a factor and then start doing those things to whatever degree your faith allows.