Who or what is your God? Who or what is your Life’s Compass?
By the excellence and expertise of the Meriam-Webster Dictionary the word “God” is defined as:
Definition of god
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: such as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe
b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a person or thing of supreme value
3 : a powerful ruler
Generally, Christians read the Bible and understand that the context of the word “god” used in the Bible is the context that is very common in the Old Testament. Specifically, The Law (Torah). This context falls very squarely in the definition highlighted as “1a” in the definition of the word above. That context still exists in our modern day society, with regards to the myriads of religions and their respective deities. These, in particular, if you are really a Christian, technically no longer refer to you, unless you have a deity somewhere in the closet that you sneak off to to to go and petition. Nope, as a Christian this is usually very far from you.
The context that is still VERY PERTINENT to the Christian even today, as it was in the time that Jesus was on Earth preaching the Gospel is the same context that he asked the rich man to get rid of and follow Him, which made the rich man very sad and depressed and he walked away disappointed. Jesus then said, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the definition listed number “2” in the definitions above i.e a person or thing of supreme value.
Now we know for a certainty that when Jesus said this about the rich, He was in no way, not even in the slightest chastising earthly riches. If he was in any form or fashion, his disciple Joseph of Arimathea (worthy of mention in ALL FOUR Gospel accounts, by the way) who we read requested Jesus’ body at His death, would not have been worthy to be counted as a disciple until he permanently got rid of his riches. He was a rich man AND a disciple of Jesus. Not to mention that the entire Scriptures concerning wealth and riches would be ERRONEOUS.
Proverbs 8:18 reads: “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness (right standing with God).
Proverbs 8:20-21 “I, [Wisdom, continuously] walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth and true riches, And that I may fill their treasuries.
Deuteronomy 8:18 But you shall remember [with profound respect] the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers, as it is this day.
And not to mention among the New Testament quotations of the Apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you are recognizing [more clearly] the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favor], that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become RICH (abundantly blessed).
And of course.. 2 Corinthians 9:8-12 which reads: And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. As it is written and forever remains written,
“He [the benevolent and generous person] scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever!” Now He who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing [that is, your resources] and increase the harvest of your righteousness [which shows itself in active goodness, kindness, and love]. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous, and this [generosity, administered] through us is producing thanksgiving to God [from those who benefit]. For the ministry of this service (offering) is not only supplying the needs of the saints (God’s people), but is also overflowing through many expressions of thanksgiving to God.
You see, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with wealth and riches in the Bible. As a matter of fact, according to Deuteronomy, the power to make wealth is given to you by God to confirm His covenant. And, according to the Proverbs of Solomon, wealth and riches and righteousness are two side of the same coin.
So then, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH REGARDS TO WEALTH AND RICHES THAT LEAD JESUS TO SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT THE RICH???
The answer is found all over the Scriptures, but I will just use one very adequate excerpt:
Psalm 52:7 “Look, [this is] the man who would not make God his strength [his stronghold and fortress], But TRUSTED in the abundance of his RICHES, TAKING REFUGE IN HIS WEALTH.”
The problem is not making God his TRUST! i.e. trusting in the strength and enabling of his money (TAKING REFUGE IN YOUR WEALTH).
Do you know what that is called in our modern day society? A god. Definition number “2” of a “god”. i.e a person or thing of supreme value.
With the context of wealth and riches (finances) adequately centered, do you know that from a psychological perspective one’s “GOD” is what is also referred to as one’s REFERENCE POINT or ONE’S COMPASS?
A reference point is defined as:
something that is used to judge or understand something else
A basis or standard for evaluation, assessment, or comparison; a criterion
an idea or fact that you compare other things with or use to help you to understand things
A compass is defined as:
something that helps a person make choices about what is right, effective, etc.
WHAT PERSON OR A THING (CRITERION) DO YOU USE TO EVALUATE, ASSESS, COMPARE YOURSELF TO? WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR GOD?
Money? Status? Possessions? Your children? Your friends (associations)? Your intellect? Your academic accomplishment?
…OR IS IT GOD/ CHRIST (and his WORD)?
Jesus said it Himself: “The eye (REFERENCE POINT) is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But if your eye (REFERENCE POINT) is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters (REFERENCE POINTS or GODS); for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (TWO REFERENCE POINTS or GODS [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. Matthew 6:22-24
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR COMPASS OF SELF-SECURITY, SELF VALIDATION, SELF-CONFIDENCE?
WHAT IS YOUR COMPASS OF RIGHT-AND-WRONG/ GOOD-AND-EVIL??
Are you aware of the fact that as a Saint, that COMPASS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HOLY SPIRIT?
2 Corinthians 1:22 ..it is He who has also put His seal on us [that is, He has APPROPRIATED us and CERTIFIED us as His] and has given us the [HOLY] SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS as a pledge [like a security deposit to guarantee the fulfillment of His promise of eternal life].
Definition of CERTIFY
: to state authoritatively : to give assurance of the validity of : to state as being true or as reported or as meeting a standard : license : to guarantee the quality, fitness, or value of officially : to show to have met certain requirements
Definition of APPROPRIATE
: to set apart for or assign to a particular recipient, purpose, or use : right or suited for some purpose or situation
According to the Apostle Paul and all of the Scriptures, in Christ, the Holy Spirit is your compass of self-security, self-validation, self-confidence. The Holy Spirit is your compass of right-and-wrong and good-and-evil.