I got word today that the city I used to live in is declaring bankruptcy, that the Obama Administration wants to put a 15% sales tax on Christmas trees and movie stars are defaulting on their mortgages (headlines on my computer news today). Yesterday I posted a Puritan prayer by Arthur Bennett. In it God is called the Divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells. If the God of the universe has an unlimited supply, why are we all so needy?
Dave Ramsey, Christian financial adviser; New York Times best-selling author and nationally-syndicated radio show host and television host, says the reason is debt. People spend more than they make, make promises to repay what they can not repay and do not save for a rainy day. Impulsiveness and a sense of entitlement are ruining the stability of the financial market. Even the Communist Chinese have noticed. Jin Liqun, the chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, was recently asked whether China would bailout bankrupt Greece. In response, Liqun said this:
“If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society. I think the labor laws are outdated. The labor laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hardworking. The incentive system is totally out of whack.”Why should, for instance, within [the] eurozone some member’s people have to work to 65, even longer, whereas in some other countries they are happily retiring at 55, languishing on the beach? This is unfair. The welfare system is good for any society to reduce the gap, to help those who happen to have disadvantages, to enjoy a good life, but a welfare society should not induce people not to work hard.”
I remember Amy Carmichael going into the mission field believing that God would create what she needed if she lacked it herself. Her sole focus in life was to remain faithful to what God had called her to do and to depend on God to see her through. She did and He did. God could certainly re-establish the financial solvency of any one of us, but He isn’t…perhaps because our focus is not on Him. God needs His errant children to turn around and embrace the principles of the upside-down kingdom that Amy Carmichael lived. Less is more, the way up is down, the last shall be first, to be a leader you must be servant of all. It was not always easy for Amy, but she carried on. She spent the last two decades of her life in bed and in pain, under constant care, not being able to do what she wanted while those who were able to do the work one by one went to be with God. Sometimes she was almost in despair, but she kept working in the ways she could. In God’s own way, He used the work of her weakness, specifically her ability to write, to encourage a whole new generation of believers. He also raised up Indian leaders to oversee the work in India, just what Amy wanted.
Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4
I, like Jin Liqun, do not see these principles operating in mainstream society today. We have switched from the bank of self-sacrifice to the bank of self-indulgence. Self-indulgence leads to bankruptcy–spiritual bankruptcy as well as financial bankruptcy.
Praying to hear Him clearly,