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A People Who Are Drinking From The World's Intoxicating Bowl
"Most men take the world for their chief good, and place their felicity in the enjoyments of it..." - Matthew Henry
There is something going on in the Body of Christ that is very disturbing. Anyone walking closely to the Lord can surely sense the off-balance message that is sounding out from the pulpits across the land.
Understand this - Yes, God does want to meet the needs of His children. Yes, He wants to free them from all oppression and depression due to debt and lack. Yes, He wants to give them an abundance so that they can fund His Gospel work and be a blessing unto others.
However, it seems that this is all that some Preachers can ever preach about. And this is all that some of God's "folks" want to hear.
These same people need to take notice that there is more in the Bible than the Prosperity and Abundance Message. As they leaf through its pages, they will find that it does touch on other subjects besides "Sowing Your Seed for a Harvest."
There is a fear that these churchgoers - whether knowingly or unknowingly - are drinking out of the "world's intoxicating bowl" and don't even realize it. Instead of the Lord, His Word, and His Presence being their greatest desire, they are just like the heathen in that they are coveting after more and more of this world's goods - only under the cover of "Sow Your Seed For A Harvest."
In this world, we have the sinner manipulating man for what he wants. In the church world, the "Christian" - on the other hand - is trying to manipulate God.
Please do not misunderstand what we are saying here - we do believe in paying tithes and offerings to the Lord and also in planting a financial seed and then believing for blessings to come in return. Certainly, no one can outgive God!
But many have distorted this teaching to the point where they are more interested in the goods than the God Who supplies them!
Let's let the Word of God explain.
Psalm 61:5 says - "For Thou, O God, hast heard my vows: Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear Thy name."
Psalm 16:5-6 says - "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."
Psalm 73:26 says - "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
Psalm 119:57 says - "Thou art my portion, O LORD..."
Psalm 142:5 says - "I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living."
Lamentations 3:24 says - "The LORD is my portion, saith my soul..."
Ezekiel 44:28 says - "And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession."
In the above Scriptures, you find words, phrases, or statements such as - "heritage of those that fear Thy name"..."The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance"..."I have a goodly heritage"..."God is...my portion..."..."Thou art my portion, O LORD"..."Thou art my...portion in the land of the living"..."The LORD is my portion"..."I am their inheritance"...and "I am their possession."
What did the Biblical writers mean when they referred to God as their "portion"?
They meant that He was their chief good...the supplier of all their needs...and the source of their comfort, refreshment, and happiness. He and He alone was the One Who could content the desires and wishes of their spirits. While others sought for fulfillment from the things of this world like wealth, honor, pleasure, and fame - they found their God to be all and in all. All that He was and had was theirs. Hence, they asked for nothing else. He and He alone was sufficient to counterbalance all their troubles and make up all their losses.
Are you getting the "drift" of what the Holy Spirit is saying through this message?
God definitely wants to bless His children.
Just read what Psalm 115:13-14 says about this - "He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children." What this Scripture is saying is that to those who "fear the LORD," He will lay up goodness for them insomuch that they will want no good thing...have the Sun of righteousness arise upon them...be blessed with more grace... have Him delight in them...and enjoy an increase of riches, wealth, honor, and spiritual blessings like knowledge, wisdom, holiness, and joy.
God takes great delight in increasing His children and their children. There is no doubt about it!
But what should the attitude of His people be in return? Should they forget Him and go after the gold - so to speak?
Read what some of the Bible Commentators had to say on this subject -
Matthew Henry said - "Those that have God for their inheritance and their portion for ever ought to look with a holy contempt and indifference upon the inheritances of this world, and not covet their portion in it." "There is enough in God to answer all the necessities of this present time." "It is our duty to make God the portion of our souls, and then to make use of Him as our portion and to take the comfort of it in the midst of our lamentations." "Those that have God for their inheritance and their possession may be content with a little, and ought not to covet a great deal of the possessions and inheritances of this earth. If we have God, we have all; and therefore may well reckon that we have enough..."
Adam Clarke said - "...he that has God for his portion has every thing that can make him happy and glorious: all are his."
Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown stated in their Commentary - "To have God for our portion is the one and only foundation and hope." "God is the all-sufficient Good of His people."
What happens when a people make God their "portion"?
Psalm 119:57 says - "Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep Thy words."
Lamentations 3:24 says - "The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him."
In the above Scriptures, it is implied that the people who make God their "portion" walk in obedience and have great confidence, faith, and an expectancy.
"I have said that I would keep Thy words."
"therefore will I hope in Him."
What picture do we get of a people who don't make the Lord their "portion" - but rather drink from the intoxicating bowl of the world?
We see a people who walk in rebellion and unbelief - those who sin a little each day in thought, word, and deed...cannot stand to hear the unadulterated Word preached for it cuts against the grain of their lusts...are full of the world and its ideas...want to be entertained and amused rather than instructed and taught...attend church to get "brownie points" with God...do good deeds for all the wrong reasons...are full of self... and depend totally upon their own resources and efforts rather than the Miracle-working Power of God.
Where is your "portion"? Or should we ask - who or what is your "portion"?
Can you say - "Thou art my portion, O LORD..." ?
We will know that when we see the fruits of obedience to God's Holy Word and the expectancy for the miraculous in your life.
Are they there?
May God Bless His Word.