The Test of Prosperity

I had a brief visit with my orthopedic doctor today about a cortisone shot in my left hip. He believes much of the pain I am experiencing is coming from my hip. He will have me get a shot to test his theory before proceeding with other types of treatment.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 8:10,11 NLT

For forty years the Children of Israel traveled around the wilderness feasting on manna. It was a test. It was a reminder that they needed to look to the Lord for their, “daily bread.”

Now, they were going to enter the promised land. They would feast on the bounty of a land “flowing with milk and honey.” Moses described it as a place,  “…where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking.” (Deuteronomy 8:9 NLT) Now they would face a new test. It is one thing to trust the Lord to provide when you don’t have a pantry full of food, it is another to keep the Lord in focus when food is plentiful and your source of provision can be quickly forgotten.

Moses cautions this new generation about forgetting the Lord and forgetting what He had done for Israel. It seems that it is far too easy to “forget” about the Lord when daily existence is not “up for grabs.” When the Lord is not continually in the forefront of our thoughts, we can easily forget His faithful provision.

When the Lord is not in the center of our lives, self becomes the center of our lives. So Moses warns, Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 8:14 NLT)

The sexual sin of Sodom was from underlying issues of self-sufficiency and a godless existence. “She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me.” (Ezekiel 16:48-50) Too much bread, too much idle time, pride and self-centered living.

The need for the balance of life is seen in the words of Proverbs, “O God…give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” (Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT)

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life, we can have the “daily walk” with the Lord that is not determined by what we have or what we don’t, whether we are “well fed or in want.” Like Paul, we can “do all things [face all cirsumstance] through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13)