Blog: If I were a rich man…
If I were a rich man… Whenever I read these words, the music starts playing in my mind. It’s such a well-known song! But maybe it’s not only that. Maybe it’s because I recognise the dream. If only I were rich! Every year, in the last week or last days of the year, I’m tempted to participate in the national lottery. I could become a millionaire! It’s really hard to use my brain function at those moments. The chances of winning the lottery are smaller than.. well, than whatever! Don’t waste money on buying a ticket for the lottery. It’s really like throwing money down the toilet.
And after all… what would I do with a million (assuming I did play the lottery)? How would I actually spend it? It’s so easy to give ‘the good’ answer. Of course, I would give to charities.Of course, I would make a huge donation to the church. I would support missionaries with substantial gifts from that moment on. I would take on ten – no fifty! – financial adoptive children. And then I would buy a house. A brand new car. Clothes. Because deep down inside that’s what I would want the money for. For me.
Am I being too honest here? Well, I can only say in defence that any change – including being changed by God – starts will complete honesty. And I do want my deepest motivations to be changed by the Lord. I want to be filled with His love and overflow with it. I just don’t know how to do it. So the only thing I know is where to start: with being honest to God.
This all came to my mind when I started reading another of Derek Prince’s books, called 'The Promise of Provision'. Read this:
One of the remarkable attributes of the Christians in the New Testament is that they never said, "If we have enough money, we will do this." They just said, "We will go here... we will go there... we will do this." Money really was not the question. Though they had much to say about money and were very practical in handling it, their plans did not depend on money. (Derek Prince, 'The Promise of Provision', chapter 19)
Do my plans depend on money or on God? That’s an interesting question. It could certainly give direction – and fuel – to my dreams and plans. If money – or the lack of it – wouldn’t limit me anymore, if God was in them, what would I do? My dream would no longer be ‘If I were a rich man’, and my question wouldn’t be around the numbers on my bank account, but on God. Maybe that’s the kind of adventure I’m seeking for after all. Maybe dreaming of a big house is just a substitute for the lack of God-driven dreams in my lives.
A little further in this book, Derek Prince says:
“First and foremost, our giving begins by giving ourselves fully to God. Have you given yourself to God? If you have, you know that you no longer belong to yourself. If you have given yourself to God, you belong to God. But you can’t have it both ways. If you have given yourself to God, you are God’s. All that you have is God’s, too. When we give ourselves to God, knowing that all we have is His, wonderful things begin to happen.”
For me, any real change starts with prayer. Feel free to join:
Lord, thank you for challenging me to plug into your dreams and resources. I don’t have to be limited by my own resources when it comes to living out your dreams. Forgive me for being so focussed on temporary and earthly things. It’s so silly and even offensive to your good care of me. You are such a good Father.. Please change my heart and give it a focus on the things you are dreaming of. I want to share your dream and live it out. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Blog by Joyce de Jongh)