Blessings and Prosperity
“There are many who pray: ‘Give us more blessings, O LORD. Look on us with kindness!’ But the joy that you have given me is more than they will ever have with all their grain and wine.” (Psalm 4:6-7 GNB)
The flesh of man insists upon believing a lie and devils do everything within their power to advance that lie. The world has built its entire reward system upon that lie. The false premise at the root of all of this is that carnal pleasures satisfy. The apostle John summed up all of these earthly allurements under three basic categories: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
As I write this devotional I am 57-years-old and have been faithfully serving the Lord for some 25 years. If you were to ask me about the pleasures the world offers, I would immediately, sincerely and even fervently assure you that they simply do not have the intrinsic ability to satisfy a person. I know this in my mind; I even know this in my heart, and yet, there is another voice within me that insists that they can and will satisfy.
There are entire movements within the evangelical community that insist that this falsehood is true. Their sermons are built upon the supposition of our verse: “Give us more blessings, O LORD. Look on us with kindness!” Agur said it this way: “The leech has two daughters, ‘Give,’ ‘Give.’” He went on to add: “There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, ‘Enough’: Sheol, and the barren womb, earth that is never satisfied with water, and fire that never says, ‘Enough.’” (Proverbs 30:15-16) I will add a fifth: people who think that pleasurable experiences, numerous possessions or a position of prominence will satisfy them. It is all a great lie.
David penned Psalm 4 at a time of great spiritual clarity and could see the reality of life properly. He knew full well that only the things of God can really bring inward fulfillment. And yet, even David, when he grew older, richer and more spiritually lax, forgot this basic spiritual truth. How else could one explain his actions with Bathsheba?
The truth is that you could have a new pleasurable experience everyday; you could go out and purchase some new toy every week; you could gain one promotion after another year after year, but none of it will bring you inner fulfillment. In fact, the truth is that the more you give yourself over to the pursuit of these unsatisfying trinkets, the more depleted and miserable you will become inside.
At this time in his life, David understood something that many believers never come to understand: all of the outward blessings and prosperity one could hope for in this world will not make a person happy. Just as true is the converse of this statement: a person could have none of the outward blessings of earth life and be full of joy within. I will conclude with a simple question that we should all be mindful of: Wouldn’t it be wiser to pursue the spiritual life that produces inward fulfillment than the lust-driven lifestyle that seeks that ever elusive satisfaction that this world offers?
And how about you? Are you still stuck in the merry-go-round of seeking satisfaction from a world that simply cannot provide it? Or can you honestly say with David, “But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face.” (Psalm 17:15 LB)