Drawing on the Bank of Heaven
While the anti-Iran rhetoric heats up and the impending air war with Iran looms ever closer, what are my thoughts? The issue that keeps returning to me in prayer again and again is this: Our heavenly treasure, our citizenship above, our relationship and fellowship with God and our fellow Christian – we had better make sure of all of these, no matter what our earthly circumstances might be.
The reason why most people today are not prepared for trouble is because they have invested everything down here and have no other resources. They cannot draw on the bank of heaven even though they are bankrupt on earth. In recent years I have made the conscious choice to be less concerned about the “right” and “left” and more concerned about the “above” and the “below.” Why should earthly things mean so much to me when the Lord has told me to lay up treasure in heaven?
There is a grave danger today of emphasizing all the wrongs and injustices in the world while losing sight of the fact that it is usually when people are at the end of their earthly resources, when their tangible assets fail, do they turn to God. Any individual, any home, any church that cannot find in Christ the answer to their own problems cannot very well tell everyone else that God can solve theirs. In my opinion, far too many Christians avoid “truthing in love” (Eph. 4:15) under the false guise of rallying for this or that political cause. We must get our eyes off our circumstances and start “off-looking to Jesus” (so the Greek of Heb. 12:2), believing the Gospel and trusting the Christ of the Gospel. Our Lord is not only our Savior. He is the Sovereign King of the Universe. I am convinced that in these difficult days we need to talk more about Him than about our troubles. From Him I can learn not mere resignation or submission to the inevitable but acceptance of what comes in the plan of God. Our Lord is with us “all the days” (so the Greek of Matt. 28:20), including the days when we are in the fiery furnaces of life.
Meanwhile, we must be about our Father’s business. My devotions in 1 Corinthians have brought me to this amazing statement: “For a great and effectual door is opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (16:9). This is missions in a nutshell. Our Lord sets before us an open door, and we are not to be terrified by our opponents. We get into trouble when we look at our own inadequacy instead of at God’s all-sufficiency. When God calls us to a task we waste our time bemoaning our limitations. Fear is a growing disease of the spirit that can easily become an incurable malignancy. Our business as Christians is to make disciples of the nations. All the nations. Even “dangerous” ones. This is what we are here for. In sickness or in health, in body and in spirit, by life or by death, whether we eat or drink, our business is to glorify God by walking through the doors He opens. Whatever it takes, whatever it means, whatever happens to us, we must say, “Thy will be done.”
Along with abundance always come adversaries. Along with blessings always come dangers. In Canaan there are foes as well as milk and honey. But all of that makes no difference to God. He is able to make all grace abound to us. Well did Spurgeon say that a fish might fret about enough water in the sea before a Christian need be bothered over the sufficiency of God’s grace.
Are you drawing on the bank of heaven?
October 4, 2007
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.