“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” – Deuteronomy 8:16-18
When we ask for improved circumstances, for material prosperity, we tend to think we are asking to be placed on a mountaintop. But like Israel when they departed Egypt, the reality is we are asking to be tested. To see if we will humble ourselves and be excellent stewards.
The Biblical perspective about material wealth is that it is a tool, a resource, an opportunity to serve. It is God entrusting us with a responsibility. Money is power to accomplish. God wants us to use that power to act as stewards, and accomplish His will.
The world tells us money is desirable to fuel an endless chase to indulge our appetites. We can purchase status to gain the approval of man. Our significance. The irony is that when we adopt the world’s perspective, and say “I did this” it leads to enslavement. Money becomes our master.
If, instead, we remember that is the Lord who gave us the power to make wealth, and honor Him with our use of money, it actually allows us to enjoy money. The prodigal wanted to chase his appetites – his inherited money gave him the power to become their slave. There is further irony that we tend to ask God to prosper us materially, and by doing so are asking to be tested.
God offers us unlimited spiritual wealth by giving us a path to acquire His wisdom. We gain this through listening to Him. Through the experience of walking by faith. But when we acquire material wealth, it is simply an opportunity to serve. We are often confused because we do not know what we are asking for.