Is it possible to live a lifetime without thinking about the need for food or clothing because they are so abundant? I confuse my needs with wants for better cars, and securing the most current technology… but food on the table? No, I do not think about that need. Being in America and participating in the wealth available here is a blessing that most in the world and past generations do not have access or freedom to enjoy. Because of that wealth people find that they do not need God any longer and then they begin to act on a life that never turns to Him for daily needs. We chase frivolous things seeking our own selfishness without a care for eternal provisions that only God can provide (Philippians 2:3).
God gave stern warnings to Israel not to be deceived into thinking they were generating blessings themselves. As I dwell on this warning I realize to some extent how my own comfort allows me to neglect my relationship with the Creator.
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth” Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV
How quickly people fail to ask God for daily bread and in doing so they announce to God that they can take care of these needs without Him (Matthew 6:11). The outcome is that people live like atheists in practice because the pride in each heart finds no need or time for God. No longer are dreams and ambitions brought before Him. James states clearly that this pride of self-sufficiency is evil.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16 ESV
This word evil that James uses is the exact same word that Jesus uses in the Lord’s prayer when he told the disciples to pray for God to deliver from evil (Matthew 6:13). In this case one could pray “Father deliver us from boasting in our arrogance”.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:16-17 ESV
God has provided the perfect gift for the here now and for eternity.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. John 3:16-18 ESV
Revised and Updated: Originally Published July 27, 2013 on Human Effort