If wealth were a sign of God’s approval and blessing, then both Jesus and Paul would have to be seen as horrible failures! So too would most of the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament!
However, poverty is not a sign of spirituality either. Neither abundance nor lack of it is necessarily a sign of our obedience to God, our spiritual state or God’s approval of us.
Rather, God has called us to obey His Word and to trust in Him at all times and for all of our needs. There are times when God may supply much more than we need; thus we will have an abundance to give away to His Kingdom work. At other times, it may seem like we barely have enough; this is our opportunity to grow in faith and trust in God to supply our needs (Phil 4:19).
The Holy Spirit, through Paul, teaches us just the right balance: “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased [live humbly], and I know how to abound [live in prosperity]. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil 4:11,12).
How could Paul live in such a peaceful and contented state? He tells us in the next verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (v.13). Paul understood that to put our trust in material things or work solely for earthly gains is foolishness (see 1 John 2:15-17; see also 1 Timothy 6:3-10; Hebrews 13:5).
Christ will help us and give us what we need to accomplish His purposes, with or without wealth! So, then, whether in wealth or in poverty, our trust is to be in God and His provision for us – looking to Him to provide ALL that we need for life and godliness (2Pet 1:3).
TRAIN OTHERS TO HELP LEAD (Ex 18:21)
God spoke much wise counsel to Moses through his father-in-law, Jethro. One very important instruction is found in Exodus 18:21. In this verse, Moses was urged to build a team of leaders to help him lead the people. These leaders were to help bear the burden of the ministry with Moses (18:22).
Moses was a wise and gifted counselor, familiar with the laws of God. Before receiving Jethro’s counsel, Moses dispensed justice to the people and solved their disputes, as was the custom for rulers in his day. Moses was well intended. But he could never meet the demands of leading millions of people in such a manner!
As leaders, we may also be well intended in our ministry efforts. However, we may find ourselves exhausted or in poor health; or perhaps our spouse or family are not receiving the attention they need. It is possible to “overdo our well-doing”!
As leaders we should be willing to work hard and not be lazy. However, we must also not be over-zealous with that which is beyond our strength, ability or calling.