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02 April 2021

Everything in its Proper Place

“Seek first his kingdom and these things will be given to you also.”  (Luke 12:31 NIV).

This is such a familiar verse.  It comes after Jesus has reassured his listeners that God really values them and will provide for all their needs.

In Luke, we read the parable of the rich fool.  The man thought he was doing a good thing.  It is, after all, good to be prepared.  But he had got everything out of proportion and becoming richer and richer had become his sole focus. 

God doesn’t want us to be like the rich fool because He is our provider.  He’s better at it than we are and He knows exactly what we need and when we need it.  In fact, He gives us far better things (gifts or blessings) than we could ever provide for ourselves.  And He knows that we thrive when we look to Him for everything we need.

‘Provider’ is part of God’s identity.  It’s even one of His names – Jehovah Jireh.  But He is so much more than the One who provides for us.  He looks to bless us at every opportunity, to give us far more than we expect.  Sometimes He blesses us for our obedience (Deut 30:15-16, Ps 119:1, 41:1) and sometimes He blesses us simply because He loves us (Deut 28:3-6, James 1:17).  He has done everything for us and then He blesses us abundantly more.

But like the rich fool, we can put these earthly blessings (wealth, status, work, hobbies, family, ministry, traditions…) ahead of our relationship with God and forget who it is that gives us all the blessings.  The Bible has a lot to say about this.  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).  He also reminded us that pagans chase after riches but God’s people are to be different.

Given that God loves to both provide for us and bless us lavishly, how should we treat these blessings?  Psalm 23:6 says, “goodness and love (blessings) will follow me all the days of my life”.  David knew the proper place for blessings: behind us, following along.  If all these blessings follow us, they cannot get in the way of our view of God – we keep God in sight at all times and our vision is not obscured.  This is the correct order of things: God in front, you seeking Him and the blessings following behind.  Nothing must get between you and God, not sin and not blessings.  Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Let’s add blessings to that list and let’s put everything in its proper place.

Ask God to show you where you have allowed His blessings to become your focus rather than your relationship with Him.

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