Spiritual Wealth: Do You Live in Scarcity When You are Rich?
(Inside: Spiritual wealth – Do you use the abundance of resources God gives us? What is your spiritual health? How do you improve spiritual health so you can live like the spiritually wealthy child of God that you are?)
Hetty Green died $3 billion dollars rich, but refused to pay for her son to seek medical attention – so his leg was amputated.
Can you even imagine being that stingy?
The rest of Hetty’s story is just as jaw-dropping. Hetty – also known as the Witch of Wall Street – inherited $7 million dollars and business knowledge from her wealthy whaling family. (1834 -1916) With shrewdness, she multiplied her money on the New York Stock Exchange and by purchasing and foreclosing on mortgages.
Then she obsessively saved. She wore tattered clothing, ate dry oatmeal for lunch, and rented cheap apartments with no hot water. When she eventually married, she only spent her husband’s income. When his modest income dwindled the bank covered his expenses with her savings. The enraged Hetty immediately put a stop to this.
Her husband eventually moved out.
When her son, Ned, injured his leg, she took him to the free medical clinic. Caught faking poverty, the doctors’ insisted she pay. Angered, she denied her son real health care and treated him instead with “oil of squills” and “Carter’s Little Liver Pills.” Then when dad realized the severity of the injury, he sought medical attention – but too late.
Hetty was just as stingy with her own health. She suffered from a hernia for twenty years – TWENTY YEARS – before agreeing to surgery, and even then, she tried to stiff the doctors out of their $150 payment.
Can you imagine having billions of dollars yet choosing to live in poverty? We read this story, and can’t even believe it…
Do I live in spiritual wealth or poverty?
But, then I sometimes wonder…do I do the same thing?
Not with money, though…
…with my faith? I know I am a daughter of God – a King, with abundant resources He readily shares – but do I seek them out and receive them like a person who realizes she’s spiritually wealthy?
Though God lavishes us with unlimited resources, I want to focus on three that help us live in the riches of His gifts.
Live in Spiritual Wealth: 3 Powerful Resources God Gives Us
Resource #1: His Support – God is always FOR US.
First, do I fully comprehend what it means that I am a child of The King? Look at Ephesians 3:14-17:
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every familyI pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
Paul calls God “Father” or “Abba.” Jewish adults and children called their dads this Aramaic word, but wouldn’t dream of calling God such an intimate name. Yet, Jesus teaches us to call…God…Abba.
When we start looking at God as our Abba, it’s jaw-dropping: God sees us with the same tender heart we see our children. Click To Tweet
The look of relief on my lost-in-a-public-place son’s face when he found me says it all.
My son’s panic transformed into relief simply because he saw me. I made no guarantees my son’s life would go perfectly or I’d meet his every demand. Instead, I gave him something better… My son found the person who – through all life’s highs and lows – is cheering him on, problem-solving, teaching him…he found the person who is always for him.
We all know how important it is to have someone in our corner. It’s life-sustaining – and even life-changing.
Come close, friends. Can I tell you something huge? God is for you.
He’s not making a list and checking it twice…
Instead, the Holy Spirit hovers near – and through the mysterious and glorious ways of God – is continually cheering us on, problem-solving, and teaching us…
So, feel empowered.
Do you tap into the resource of God’s support?
You can step out in faith and try that “thing” pulsing in your heart – because if it all goes awry (and it might) – God is still cheering you on and will equip you through…because that’s what a God who is for you does.
Or you don’t have to be debilitated by the pain (from whatever the source) because you can be assured God is working in incredible ways in your life through your journey. And He will nourish and comfort you to internal peace…because that’s what a God who is for you does.
And you don’t have to fear life’s lows because in the valley God will teach you surprisingly beautiful lessons…because that’s what a God who is for you does.
Do you tap into the wonderful resource of empowerment that comes from knowing God is for you? God desires what’s best for you – always. Even when our view from earth is confusing. Open your arms to the gift of empowerment from knowing God is for you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Resource #2: The Power of Prayer
I have to admit – people have said to me, “I’ll pray for you,” and I’ve nodded and smiled and thought, “What’s the point?” (Ahhhh, self-pride is such a joy…) But since then, I’ve done some research and spoken on this topic and found powerful reasons to pray:
1. Through prayer – God changes circumstances
There’s proof in scripture God answers prayers like when Elijah prayed and the skies split open to end the drought, or when Hezekiah prayed and God’s people were saved from their enemies.
But there’s also powerful evidence in your own life. In search of faith, I once listed all the “things” I could think of that I’ve asked God for. It was humbling to see how often God said, “Yes.” Make your list and see what God reveals to you.
2. Through prayer – God nourishes our bodies and minds.
Scientific research supports the benefits of prayer.
“Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in the field of mind/ body medicine discovered what he calls “the relaxation response,” which occurs during periods of prayer and meditation. At such times, the body’s metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular.”
Richard Shiffman’s article also outlines more benefits of prayer including increased levels of dopamine (associated with happiness), reduced headaches, stronger immune systems, less stress, and slower cell death.
God created prayer to nourish our bodies and minds.
3. Through prayer – God reveals the next right step
God doesn’t most often lay out the entire plan for our lives, instead, he speaks to us in the quiet and reveals the next right step. But we have to get quiet and listen to the depths of our heart (our gut) to hear that leading. (Enter the powerful resource of prayer to get there.)
4. Through prayer – God changes us
God most often doesn’t change the situation, instead, He changes us. Oswald Chambers says: “Prayer is less of a matter of changing things externally, but instead of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.” Prayer toughens our mental grit, renews our mind, and gives us a fresh perspective – it changes us.
What about you? How do you use our prayer resource?
Do you use it to talk to God about changing your circumstances? Do you let prayer nourish your body and mind? Do you use it to quiet all the noise to better hear the One voice pressing the next right step into your heart? Do you let it renew your perspective and transform you? Open your arms to the plentiful gifts that overflow from a rich prayer life.
Resource #3 – Tangible Solutions
When reflecting on tangible solutions, I think of the popular story of the man on the rooftop escaping the rising flood who cries out to God for help. A boat came, a helicopter came, then another boat – and the man refused them all trusting in the divine. Then he died. When he got to heaven, he asked God why He didn’t answer his prayer. God says, “I did! Three times!”
(Yes, man-on-the-rooftop, I get you because – me too.)
What about you?
Do you acknowledge and seek out the infinite number of tangible resources God provides through His people? God purposely makes us to need connection, to give and support each other, to be His hands and feet on earth.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Look at all the paths provided to meet our tangible needs:
|Needs:||Paths God provides to get us there:|
Do you notice and accept God’s resources of tangible solutions?
Look around – notice how God moves people to support you or people to create useful resources. Open your arms to God’s gifts of tangible resources.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13
The Best Part of Spiritual Wealth
Hettie could’ve bought almost anything, and yet she chose to live in poverty. We don’t have to live like that.
Like Hetty, we have access to an abundance of wealth. We can walk in confidence because of the resource of empowerment from knowing God is for us. He’ll draw us close to cheer us on, problem solve, teach us and strengthen us in beautiful ways. We can access the powerful resource of prayer. We can let prayer blanket us with comfort and peace, then watch how prayer transforms situations and us. We can draw from the abundance of tangible resources God provides. We can open our eyes to how God moves His people to work together and support each other.
Yet, Hettie would rather bank her wealth than use it to enrich her own life and the lives of others.
That choice wasn’t rich.
But we can throw the vault doors open and let God lavish us with His riches. Then share our spiritual wealth with others.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
For more Easter hope, check out the rest of the articles in our 6-week Easter Series. If you enjoy them, we’d be so grateful if you would pass the articles and our blog along.
The Hope Found in the Story of an Unfaithful Disciple
The Powerful Lesson I Learned From Sleeping Disciples
Mary Magdalene: A Faithful Follower’s Great Reward
Spiritual Wealth: Do You Live in Scarcity when Really You are Spiritually Rich?
We’re excited to give you some lovely free Easter art!
There are 4 different quotes and two different styles of art for the quotes:
Picture 1: “He has risen.” Mark 16:6
Picture 2: “Do not abandon yours to despair. We are Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.” John Paul II
Picture 3: “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” Martin Luther
Picture 4: “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelations 21:5
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3 thoughts on “Spiritual Wealth: Do You Live in Scarcity When You are Rich?”
What a message. Thank you. I think people who manage their money in such a way have made money their God . I had an ex-husband and an aunt that thought the same way. The ex-husband became prone to the false TV ministers and the aunt ended up dying by herself a lonely old woman. That is not for me. I am not rich but I try to do everything possible to show people God’s love through me and the things I do for them. He loved me in my unbelief.
Melinda, thanks for your thoughts. “I am not rich but I try to do everything possible to show people God’s love through me and the things I do for them.” Love it!
Thank you Cheryl.