Centered, Day 1
By Jason Brown, from the book Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters
When you look at the Bible, you may find that not many of its stories focus on rich people. If God’s own plans were governed by spreadsheets, you’d think Jesus would’ve surrounded Himself with rich disciples who could fund His travels, not poor fishermen who couldn’t pay their taxes. Joseph’s family was relatively wealthy back in the day, but it was only when they were poor—when Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt begging for food—that they had a chance to see Joseph’s own amazing, miraculous story. Don’t misunderstand: God uses rich people too. But the poor have a chance to see God operate more powerfully and intimately. They lean on Him because they don’t have their own resources to use as a crutch.
After retiring from the NFL, I thought I’d never be hurting for money again. I was wrong. I lost almost everything through circumstances beyond my control.
I know what it’s like to have a big bank account. I know what it’s like to live a comfortable life. Those who follow a prosperity-gospel form of Christianity believe that God wants us to be comfortable and that He’ll provide us the means to find us that comfort. They think, Oh, I’m going to follow Jesus all the way to a comfortable life. But that’s not what Jesus says at all. He tells us, “Look, if you’re going to be My disciple, you’re going to have to measure the cost.” Even Jesus—the very Son of God—wasn’t comfortable in His time on earth. He wasn’t looking for comfort. He had a job to do.
In the last several years, I’ve learned that having favor from God is worth more than gold and silver. Having that favor—having a real relationship with Him—is priceless, because God is always batting a thousand. I’d never want to go back. I would much rather be in the position I’m in right now: praying to God every single day for my manna, praying for my daily bread. Because when my worldly blessings were gone, the floodgates of heaven were opened for miracles. Through it all, I learned I don’t need an abundance; just give me what I need.
How does having less money than you think you need give you opportunities to trust God instead, for what you truly need?
For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.Genesis 45:6-7
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.Exodus 16:3-4
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”Luke 9:58
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.Luke 14:27-33
Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters
By Jason Brown with Paul Asay / WaterBrook Press