1 Chronicles 29:14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
We have a persistent tendency to feel like if we give something to God, He owes us. The fallacy in that is pointed out by David here. God is the Creator of absolutely everything, so nothing tangible has any real meaning as being “given to” God. What we can give to God, and what He desires, is actually intangible, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. What God desires of us is our love, devotion, honesty, and commitment. Those can be wrapped up in the term, worship, and Jesus said that God actively seeks those who will worship Him like that. (John 4:23) Imagine that! We can give God something He really wants! That awareness should fill us with joy, because He has given us so much. The thing is, our attitude toward material things has a big impact on us emotionally and spiritually, so giving back to God what He has provided should be an inviolable priority for us. Otherwise, our hearts will fixate on the material and value that instead of God, and as Paul famously said, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) When we succumb to materialism, we ascribe to the idea that “He who dies with the most toys wins.” However, as has been pointed out, that person is still dead! It really doesn’t matter how many “toys” we have. The point is to recognize that absolutely everything, including life itself, comes from our Creator, and so give Him the gratitude and obedience that He deserves. Like spoiled children, we tend to say, “He didn’t give me this thing I wanted, so He’s mean and I won’t play His game.” The foolishness of that is beyond words! There is much that we don’t have the “mental horsepower” to understand – not even Einstein did – but God has revealed His character to us in countless ways, so we can choose to love and trust Him. That is what He desires of us, and it is the only path to the glory for which we were created.
This is something I have known on some level for a long time, but my appreciation of it continues to deepen. I have seen God provide in ways that were definitely miraculous, even if they didn’t involve creating gold bars out of thin air. I have seen people with the assurance of eternal life leave this life with peace and joy, and I have seen people without that assurance leave this life with terror and desperation. There’s no question which is better! My own commission is to teach people about their Creator, so that as many as will may accept the eternal life that He offers. Doing that involves rearranging our priorities and our perspective, but that’s what we’re on this earth to do. Paul put it this way: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) That’s what I need to keep doing myself, and it’s what I need to lead others to do as well.
Father, thank You for this reminder. I feel like I have a lot of things to do today, and it makes me want to retreat and run away. Help me do each thing in turn, allowing You to set my schedule and give me the strength and wisdom for each task, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!