What’s in your cup? You would think that with the topic of money, that question would more appropriately be from that frequently run Capital One commercial, “What’s in your wallet?” But no, what’s in your cup?
Stop for a moment and consider what fills you – or should I say – what you attempt to fill your cup with. You see, we all were created with a void that was meant to be filled. That is why everyone is on such a hunt for satisfaction in life. It's not that our cups don't get full, it's just that we're never truly satisfied. Unless, of course, we allow God, our El Shaddai, to fill us. He is the only One who is All-Sufficient and more than enough.
But He can only fill our cups when they've been emptied. Unfortunately, they are often filled with the wrong stuff, making little to no room for God...
So, what does this all have to do with money? Everything! We find pleasure in quick fixes except those things don't really fix at all. And it's normally money that makes us feel better about our situations - temporarily, that is.
Sure, it feels good to go shopping after a bad day at work or indulge in carton of ice cream while feeling depressed or watch a movie to escape from reality. We all do it. But when those things stand in the way of our running to our El Shaddai, we end up trying to fill our God-sized void with puzzles pieces of life that will never quite fit.
The small groups from my church just finished the DVD series,
"The Christian Atheist," by Craig Groeschel. The topic of one particular week was "When You Believe in God but Trust More in Money."
Initially, I didn't think that was the case but as we discussed what was shared on the video and in our participant guides, the pull of money in my own life became more real to me (or the dissatisfaction because of my lack). Two ways we trust in money are to provide happiness and provide security. Think about that for a moment...
(and go through this chapter's journal entries in Stress Point which help pin-point where your focus is).
"When we allow God to fill our voids, anything our human loved ones add is icing on the cake."
- Sarah Francis Martin, Stress Point (p. 153)
Having that piece of cake with extra icing on a bad day is horrible.
The problem is we want the extra icing a little too much sometimes.
And too much icing makes us sick.
I'm not saying we should live in poverty. But I'm not saying we should strive for prosperity either. You see, when Jesus is not our everything, something (or someone) else will become our idol. But not when we fall in love with Jesus. Our El Shaddai. The One who fills us to overflow and satisfies our deepest desires.
"When we learn to trust in God alone, He is the One who provides us with what matters and lasts. Suddenly the earthly possessions that once gripped us don't hold us like they used to. Instead of seeing what we have as belonging to us, we see it as available to God for His use and His glory."
- Craig Groeschel, The Christian Atheist (p. 186)
As with every chapter of Stress Point, we need to focus on Who God is and position ourselves to be worshiping and waiting on Him. When we do that, we hear and see Him clearly regarding each topic and receive the instructions He gives us (which includes practical steps and guidelines). We are able to give freely because we're not holding onto things so tight. Our hands are open wide because they're lifted up high in praise to Him. Our El Shaddai.
Psalm 16 has been ministering to me in a lot of ways as of late and I share these verses now with the hope they will be an encouragement to you...
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after
another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood
I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad,
and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
- Psalm 16
What's in your cup?