money-heart

The Strength Of My Heart

**At Cross Point, we just started a new series called “Be Rich” and Pete Wilson’s message yesterday, “Who’s Rich”, really struck a chord with me, convicted me on several levels and brought to mind this blog I wrote over 3 months ago when I first started blogging again.  So, for all you Cross Pointer’s, this may be especially timely. For everyone else, I’m sure there’s something here for you too.
“I’ve got faith in the bank and money in my heart” (Derek Webb, lyrics from “I Want A Broken Heart”)

This particular season of my life I’m walking through has been full of all kinds of challenges and opportunities to choose to walk by faith, not by what I see.  One such opportunity is in the area of finances.

The details aren’t important, but suffice it to say that this has been a real stretching period for me.  Recently, I received a couple checks that I was not expecting at that time.  It was a huge blessing, to say the least.  The money came just in time and I was able to take care of some things that I needed to.  I was able to briefly exhale a little bit, and it felt good.

Later that same day, it dawned on me that not only was I feeling pretty good about receiving this money, but I was actually feeling a bit too good about it.  In fact, it occurred to me that getting this money had actually affected my heart response to this season I’m walking through. Yes, I was thankful to God for providing what I needed, but I quickly realized that the response in my emotions was not because I knew Christ was the unequivocal anchoring hope for my heart, but it was because of this little bit of money.

In a flash, I had allowed my heart to find strength in a few dollars. I felt so convicted. This ‘idol heart’ thing is no joke.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire beside you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:25-26

I have been working on being very intentional about focusing on Psalm 73:25-26 and reminding myself that God is the strength of my heart, not any amount of money.  It is dangerous to lean into anything other than Christ for any degree of hope, security or identity.

I’ve been meditating on God being more than just Jehovah-Jireh my provider, but Jesus the Christ, my provision.  He is more than my rent-payer, my grocery-buyer or the solution to any problem that can be solved with a Paypal transaction.  He is the ultimate, eternal provision for a debt that no American Express Black card could pay… a life separated from Him by sin.  More than I need my electric bill paid, I need a savior, a redeemer for my soul.  If He alone does not anchor my heart, I’m in trouble.

My soul finds rest in God alone: my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock…I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1

Anything else that my heart finds hope or strength in is an impostor, a counterfeit god that needs to be evicted.  God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Truth is, I can get, earn, save, and invest all I want, but I’ll never squeeze an ounce of peace out of it. (totally swiped that from Pete’s blog)

In his message yesterday, Pete Wilson asked us to consider this question:

“Which of these statements creates the most anxiety for you: There is no God or there is no money in the bank?

Wow. Selah.

Have you caught yourself finding more hope and strength in what God gives rather than who God actually is?



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Grant JenkinsThe Strength Of My Heart
26 comments
bdentzy
bdentzy

Wow! Great post. It's a hard word but one that I sure needed to hear.
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Faith Barista Bonnie
Faith Barista Bonnie

I grew up on the other end of the spectrum. Having grown up not quite having enough, I have a fear that I'm one step away from being out on the street. It's completely illogical, because there hasn't been a day He hasn't taken care of me. But, you're right, when I put my focus on God as my Provision, I have a confidence that I can handle anything that happens to me. Simply because He's with me.

It's crazy that we can be in one world or another, based on where we place our faith.

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Justin and Trisha
Justin and Trisha

Such a powerful post my friend. It is easy for me to chalk "rich" people up as greedy or selfish, but recognizing it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with my heart. You are awesome my friend.

nmaestas
nmaestas

what a great post man. i struggle with this daily-my bank account is currently in the red and i don't get paid until the end of the month. the funny thing is-i know that we will be ok. i know that we will have rent paid, food in the fridge, and gas in the car. one way or another-we always find a way to be ok. thanks for the constant encouraging words brother. take care!

Ani
Ani

Oh boy, I think a lot of people will recognize this. I found out after I lost my job and the unemployment fee was not in time I was putting my security on my montly salary. It was tough because there was no money coming in but I had to pay my insurance and mortgage. I've repented and told the Lord that my security is on the Rock and not on the money and whatever I needed He would provide. And He did. When least expected there was money. This doesn't mean that I don't worry. I do. I'm sorry I'm not perfect. I still worry and have anxiety if I will make it. Maybe next year if I don't have a job I have to sell this house. Today I thought: so what if I have to sell this house, there are plenty other houses for rent and He still will be there.
I haven't been praying for you lately. My aunt in France died and I can't go to her funeral because I have problems with dizziness. There is some water behind my tympan and it makes me dizzy and I haven't been able to sleep because my head is literally spinning. It's making me feel sick.

JennyRain
JennyRain

was just talking to my husband about this last night. another great post Grant!
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Mela Kamin
Mela Kamin

love this post and the great analogy to OCD behavior by Andie - will be sharing this one
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swodeck
swodeck

Love the post Grant.

Was thinking about this for a while. To me, whether we are "blessed/cursed" with money...is not really the issue. Our love and adoration for God should be the consistent in any situation. I think that is part of what we learn from Job. I am also reminded of the young men in the fire filled furnace, who chose to remain faithful even if God didn't deliver them.

This is the heart we desire. The heart that is not dictated by circumstances.

What is comes down to is that God's love & provision is not really about finances. I think of the children in 3rd world countries who will die today because of starvation. Did God not love them? Or, perhaps God does love them and has provided something more real and relevant than we can truly grasp. In America, we somehow have merged God's love and provision with making sure we can eat out and have a decent place to live...making sure we find a good mate or enjoy our job. But, this kind of theology doesn't translate well to those in the world who may never experience any of these things, yet still have a real connection to God.

My desire is that our awe of God is never moved by things, but by true appreciation and gratefulness of His actual presence...the awesome fact that He is just there.
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Andie Wright
Andie Wright

I think we treat money as an OCD behavior. We have imagined fears that we try and control or prevent with money. We have created a correlation between having money and preventing major problems that doesn't really exist. OCD patients have an imagined fear they obsess over and they try to handle it with compulsions. This fear and their attempt to control it take over their lives and start to rule them. In helping an OCD patient, you get them to radically stop the compulsion before you start the triggers. For if they have done even one compulsive action recently, they'll believe it's what prevented the bad outcome. I think sometimes God put us places to teach us our money rituals have no effect on the outcome.

mcadesigns
mcadesigns

Well said! I too was convicted by the message yesterday and struggle with what you've described here. I teeter between the extremes of wanting to just sell it all / give it all away and being afraid of what might happen if... Where do I find the balance in this culture? Like you, I'm trying to find a more Christ-like perspective.

Josh DeVine
Josh DeVine

"If He alone does not anchor my heart, I’m in trouble."

That right there says it all, I think.
Thanks, Grant, for clearly laying out your thought process when you wrestle with this. I'm stoked, though, you're choosing to engage it. So many people would push it aside and ignore it all together.

Keep fighting the fight. I'm glad we're friends.
JD
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Lindsey_Nobles
Lindsey_Nobles

The money thing is really hard for me. I want to not place so much importance on it. But it is hard. I was raised in a community where it was everything. I think I am making strides and then I read something like this and I realize I've only made baby steps.

ChandlerWH
ChandlerWH

I love it bro. So jealous of the heart place you are in right now. I'm loving watching you grow right now. You rock bro.

Kyle Reed
Kyle Reed

Love that line from D webb, one of my favorites.
As someone who is unemployed and has no money I go through the same thing.
It is almost like the idea of the whole burning a whole in your pocket idea, instead it is burning a whole in my heart.

JuliaKate
JuliaKate

i just got out of a relationship that seemed to make my life a whole lot easier... financially. i'm not a gold digger by any means, but i just didn't have that sick feeling in my stomach like i did before, because this guy was always taking care of stuff and just in case i ran into a bind he was willing to lend a hand. well the truth is, i never had to take him up on that and now that we aren't together i've found that i was insecure about my finances for no reason at all. we manage... God & I. He has never left me begging for bread and He has given me wisdom to budget and make stuff work. it's weird how i came to rely on a man... it seemed so unlike something i'd ever do. but i was afraid. and now i give God my fears and He gives me peace. Thanks for the blog Grant.

JasonWert
JasonWert

Maybe I'm misunderstanding a bit...

"Yes, I was thankful to God for providing what I needed, but I quickly realized that the response in my emotions was not because I knew Christ was the anchoring hope for my heart, but it was because of this little bit of money."

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with taking a blessing and using that to drive your love of God. All things come from him so an unexpected blessing of money...and the good feelings that come from that blessing...is not necessarily taking your heart away from Jesus being your firm foundation.

My wife & I have been blessed beyond measure the last nine days where God has given us one gift after another. Financially, spiritually, career-wise...it's had us on a real emotional high that we can't come down from because He just keeps pouring into us. We definitely feel "too good" about the good things that are happening but they've only increased the awe we have for God...we realize how unworthy we are of all the love he chooses to pour into us. It makes us appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus even more that we can have a relationship where God would pour blessings upon us.

Again, maybe I'm misunderstanding where you're coming from on it...I just think if God's giving us a blessed provision or unexpected joy that puts us on a big high that we should enjoy it with Him.

scotty
scotty

good post, bro. i'm really glad to see your blogging again. nice lookin site too.

i am in exactly the same place here. i just recently started working again after nearly a year with no consistent income, and almost 8 months with virtually no income at all. i'm only working part time now, but i was just thinking through it all the other day and realized that God spent that time showing us that we can live with a lot less than i thought we could. we've never been rich, or even all that "comfortable" by most (american) standards, but i see now that even when i thought we were just getting by we still had way more than we really need.

the pressure's still there, but we've been tremendously blessed in it.

Gessie
Gessie

Thanks for your transparency and insight, brother. I was faced with this same situation in late December. And, I remember challenging myself about how happy I was that I felt the financial pressure lift because of a closed deal. I was truly grateful to God but had to remind myself that He would not have been due any less gratitude had the deal fallen through. He is not God our ATM. He is our Father and redeemer. Truly we are blessed that He does provide for out natural needs but the greatest provision He has showered on us is making it possible for us to call him Daddy!