I am old enough now to sense my time in this temporal world coming to a close. I may have 20 (or 30) more years left to produce the fruits of righteousness – to make a significant impact for the kingdom of God. That is half (or less) of the time I have already been here… and there is so much more I want to walk in for my Lord, my Father’s glory, and my future usefulness in eternity. I do not have a particular expectation; although, I will confess a strong desire for experience of the greater than life all believers have been promised (John 14:12).

I am grateful that my current work does not require good knees and shoulders; I am just a pen. More than anything, I find solace knowing He has numbered my days and has a plan to glorify Himself with this vessel, instrument, and weapon. I am concerned that I may have disqualified myself from some great exploit – and may continue to do so. I truly do not want to leave anything on the road (as cyclists say). God help me!!

The closer I get to the end, the more important choices become – not just the ones I am forced to make, but those that I may be avoiding. To know what to do and to not do it is as much a sin as doing something that you know you should not. Furthermore, I suspect my carnal mind has a way of distracting me, not only from what I know to do, but from seeking to know what I should. It concerns me that this latter distraction is akin to not having “the love of the truth” that saves (2Thessalonians 2:9-11).

In my study of the carnal mind, I discovered that its development has been much helped by the environment in which I have been raised. From my formative years, I have been inculcated into the American mindset and dependence on its systems. It is important to recognize that much of what we think as Americans has been adopted by the church here as christianly thinking, without much thinking at all.

Objective consideration should at least give one pause, if not fear, regarding the eternal ramifications of an Americanized gospel. For example, how are Christian’s supposed to think about wealth? Should it not get more of our attention – particularly since we are the wealthiest nation in the world?

Instruction to the Rich

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1Timothy 6:17-19

This passage suggests seven ways the American mindset regarding wealth management is potentially dangerous to Christians:

  1. It invites haughtiness;
  2. It leads to idolatry (trust in uncertain riches);
  3. It takes our mind off God and inhibits our enjoyment of what God has given us;
  4. It undermines the good works we were created to walk in;
  5. It hurts others (our unwilling to share);
  6. It weakens our spiritual foundation for the ages to come; and,
  7. It threatens our laying hold on eternal life.

This does not necessarily suggest that wealth is bad. However, it is a clear warning that those entrusted with wealth must make decisions and take actions that mitigate these threats. A cursory assessment is insufficient.

Remember, my giving will be rewarded not by how much I gave but by how much I had left. A. W. Tozer

Indeed, it would be wiser to fault toward earthly loss that to risk losing eternally. The Parable of the Talents suggests that burying is worse than investing at a loss (with a true heart to please the Master). Jesus’ instruction regarding the benefit of cutting off one’s hand or plucking out one’s eye also applies here. It would be better to be rid of wealth than be labeled as a lazy and wicked steward.

God is looking for some of us to be different. He is looking for some of us, like Moses, to forsake the treasures of Egypt. We need to come to the place of choice.

We need to make up our minds, saying and praying, “Lord, take me and use me. I am tired of toying with Thy affections. I am choosing Thy spiritual treasures above everything else!”

Pray that prayer sincerely and you will be brought into a place of blessing that is beautiful, elevated, rich, fruitful, and satisfying. It is God’s plan that we be shaken loose from our selfishness and earthiness. He longs that we deliberately chose to be His man, His woman. A. W. Tozer

The wealth that God has already invested in the American church could absolutely end world hunger. Sadly, with so much wealth, we chose to ignore 1John 3:16-17:

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

We do so at our personal peril (and the peril of those following our lead), for John goes on to say:

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. (vv. 18-19)

Likewise, the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is definitive and instructional. I will leave you to search it out (see Matthew 25:31-46). I need to conclude.

Conclusion

The carnal mind and the world are as much our enemies as Satan. The world has sold us on the security of its systems and treasures. The carnal mind would have us trust it to make decisions relating to the earthly treasures God has given us to steward. It is easy to go along – which leads me to my big concluding point:

Failure to aggressively – even militantly – resist the influences of our enemies in this area will lead to immeasurable eternal loss; and for many, loss of the worst kind.

How each person, couple, and fellowship address the seven threats of wealth is certainly between them and God. I would however suggest two courses of action. First, invite the LORD to search your heart regarding each threat – specifically, each one (Psalm 139:23-24). Second, ask God for the opportunity to exercise 1John 3:16-17 and Matthew 25:37-40 in a way that makes your carnal mind and the world uncomfortable. Listen, trust, and obey; your eternity depends on it.

God bless you with assurance of your heart before Him.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob