As I think of the current situation in America I am reminded of the current situation of our culture. Every aspect of our daily lives is consumer driven. Regardless of the business or institution, all are dictated by consumer demand. I suppose that is the product of free enterprise and it is good to see those who work hard to earn an honest living enjoy a measure of success.
But I fear the prosperity that we enjoyed for so long has created much of the problem we are facing today. Americans have grown so accustomed to having exactly what they want, when they want it, that it only adds to the pain and misery of a situation like the one we currently face. After so many years of having and acquiring all we desire, it is hard to face the realities of cutting back or doing without.
This consumer driven lifestyle has created a bigger crisis than we could have imagined. In the days of a booming economy the motto was "get it now and worry about paying for it later; everyone else has one, so you need one too." We have borrowed ourselves into despair and near ruin. Many of the problems that a large majority of Americans face are the product of living above their means and a lack of satisfaction with what they currently have.
As I thought of the current situation and the lack of contentment among so many, I was reminded of the words of our Lord. He addressed a situation much like the one we are facing today. Many of the Jews were concerned with material things. In fact, they placed more emphasis on possessions many times than they did their relationship with the Lord. I know that we must eat, have a place to sleep, and clothes to wear, but should all of those material possessions be the desire of our hearts and our priority. Consider what Jesus said. Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Is it possible that we have so idolized our possessions and been so driven by the desire to obtain more that we have forgotten God and made our personal desires the god that we truly worship. I am certainly not one who embraces the "health and wealth" doctrine that is taught by so many today. (I suppose most of those preachers have never considered preaching from the book of Job or the Pauline epistles. These were men who walked with God and lived for him and yet they faced great adversity and suffering.) However, do you suppose that it is possible that God has given America over to the god of prosperity? Has He looked upon our consumer driven society with its insatiable appetite for more and allowed us to suffer from our own greed and lack of responsibility. The Lord said if we would seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, then all these things would be added unto us. You will have to agree that serving the Lord or seeking His righteousness is not very high on the priority list of the average American.
The financial crisis in America is but one spoke in the wheel of despair that we face. I have said many times that what we need more than a balanced budget, $2.00 a gallon gasoline, or even world peace is a genuine, heart-felt revival. I agree that things are difficult for many today and I am certainly not making light of their difficulties. Many are struggling just to make ends meet. But, if God can use the mess we are in to turn our hearts toward heaven and bring about revival, then it will all have been worth it.
I have to ask before I leave, what or who is it that you seek? Are you seeking a means of financial adequacy, genuine happiness and contentment, or fulfillment in your life? If any of these things are in your wish list I can tell you how to obtain what you desire. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.