Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. James 5:1-3(NLT)
The Kingdom of God is populated with people who voluntarily place themselves near the King. It means we love what the King loves, do what the King wants; we love the King. It’s the picture of an engagement; Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride-to-be, complete with a ring of promise (being sealed by the Spirit of God).
In addition to the promise, God has given us many engagement gifts. He spoke the universe into existence - along with the cattle on a thousand hills, and told us to enjoy it. Our correct response, as His created beings, is to worship the Creator, and enjoy what He has given us.
But sometimes the bride becomes more concerned with what the Bridegroom has given than the relationship.
A young woman confided to a friend, I've broken-up with Jerry; the engagement is off. My feelings have changed toward him.
The friend asked, did you give the ring back?
Oh no, she replied, my feelings about the ring haven't changed at all!
When we break the engagement with God we place ourselves outside of the Kingdom; we wander away from our beloved.
James sounds like the Old Testament prophets, calling-down judgment and woes on rich people. And it’s hard to argue with what’s written; riches can cause one to break many engagements.
So much for the Prosperity Gospel!
But note that riches alone are not what breaks the engagement of the bride-to-be and her lover – it is the love of riches that is the root of much evil. (1 Timothy 6:10) Possessions are only inanimate objects, not intrinsically good or bad. They are totally without moral significance until we, by the way we think about and use money, create either good or evil intentions or acts.
So, there’s nothing wrong with being rich, but what a tremendous responsibility comes with abundance. What we do with possessions and power of any kind determines whether we keep or break the engagement with God.
A couple of good questions can help us any time:
#1. Have you counted your blessings lately?
#2. Have you intentionally used those blessings to create good or evil?
#3. What will you do with today’s blessings?