I think I’ve been asking for too much. I pray for safety for Wayne when He’s on the road. I pray for security and happiness for my children. I pray for healing for my eyes. I pray for a lot of different things for my friends. And that’s good because God commanded us to ask.
But the writer of Proverbs has narrowed down what’s important to two things: to never lie and to be neither rich nor poor. These seem like strange requests if you’re only going to get two. But Proverbs was written by the wisest man ever (Solomon), so I’d better figure it out.
If I have too much, if I get rich, I might disown God because I won’t feel like I need Him. That self-sufficiency is a form of pride. In fact it’s putting myself in charge of my life, instead of relying on and submitting to Him.
If I have too little I may get desperate and do something dishonest like stealing to meet my needs. In a way, that too is pride. Instead of trusting God to provide, I trust myself and take what I need.
This attitude of pride is a lie. It is believing that I need to take care of myself when the truth is that everything comes from God.
Humility and gratitude are the truth.
So the writer asks God to give Him just enough to satisfy his needs. What is enough? My daily bread.
Brace yourselves, I’m going to make a huge leap here, from physical to spiritual needs.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. He’s what I need every day. When I have enough of Him, I don’t need the world’s riches. I stop lying to myself and to God about my ability to take care of myself. I give up control to Him. On the other hand, if I don’t get enough of Him, I take what I need from the world – in essence I steal from a source that is not mine. And I tell myself that I’m satisfied, but I’m not.
Maybe it’s not that I’ve been asking for too much, but that I’ve been asking for the wrong things. Give me Jesus.