The first time I saw Proverbs 30:7-9 written inside the cover of a Bible of a young Nepalese pastor, I had to look it up to check it out for myself. I couldn’t believe it could be a Bible verse – it went so against the years of preaching I had heard about asking for and expecting riches.
Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonour the name of my God.
At the time, I couldn’t pray that prayer. Surely it would go against any riches God wanted to give me?
Fast forward seven years and we live by faith, in Lima, Peru, working amongst the poor. Each month we have no idea where the money will come from to cover our expenses or to cover any extras (e.g. thieves robbing US$2000 of electrics out of car etc…!) Sometimes large amounts of money come in unexpectedly and we feel excited that we may be able to buy something special, but nearly always, some large unexpected cost comes in, and we are left with just enough.
But ´just enough´ is such a western way of looking at it!!
If we have $5 to spare at the end, then God has actually blessed us with more than enough!
I love the fact that God’s provision so often confirms our decisions to do or buy something we have been prayerful about. It is hard on the western ‘I want it now’ mentality, but so rich in blessing when God does provide so exactly.
God never promised to provide for tomorrow’s banquets, but he is so faithful in providing today’s bread.
Now, I love the prayer of Proverbs 30:7-8 because it keeps my eyes on Him.
It means our finances are not about my comfortableness, but relationship.
Are you in a place where you can pray the prayer of Proverbs 30:7-8?
Here are some other interesting links I have seen recently on the poverty riches issue:http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/projecting-poverty-where-it-doesnt-exist