More Isn’t Always a Gift From God
If you own a business, run a ministry, or have been struggling financially for a long time, you probably know all about the desire for increase.
The blessing of God is a beautiful thing. I like to picture it as an umbrella over a person’s life. Everything within the “shadow” of that umbrella is our territory where we can run around and build our ministry, increase our business, chase after the dreams God has given us, etc. Incredible things can happen within the umbrella’s covering.
But sometimes in our enthusiasm to build and dream, we run out and start building beyond the umbrella’s edge. I’m not talking about sin; I’m talking about adding more and more to our lives—piling on more things to do, more people to see, more places to go.
No doubt all of us want to see increase, favor, and blessing in our lives. But caught up in our aspirations and passion to serve the Lord, sometimes we can rush past the umbrella’s edge without even realizing it—except for the tell.
That tell is sorrow.
He Gives Blessing Without Sorrow
It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it. (Prov. 10:22 NASB)
Have you ever been so busy pursuing your goals or taking care of your business that your heart starts to feel like it’s shutting down? That is the point of sorrow.
For years I worked on average twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes I worked fourteen hours in a day, with gusts up to sixteen hours.
During this time, I would pray, “Father, more! Would You bless me in my business? Would You bless my church? God, would You give us more? Would You provide and promote?”
And He did. The church grew, my ministry grew, everything was expanding—but I started dying on the inside. Everywhere I turned, there was favor, honor, growth, and anointing, but I felt dead. Things got so bad that I began to drift toward a nervous breakdown.
I cried out to God, “What do I do?”
The Solution I Desperately Needed
One night I dreamed I was watching myself work busily at my desk. The “dream me” was doing three things at once—a multitasking ninja!
I was pretty proud of myself. Look at what I could do!
But then in the dream, God said quite clearly, “This is not from Me.”
He gave me instructions around an ancient discipline called the Sabbath. It was exactly what my heart needed in order to take a breath and come awake again.
When I realized my growth and expansion—what I had thought to be the blessing of the Lord—had reached the point where I was dead inside, that’s sorrow.
Obviously, I don’t mean it’s wrong to be busy and active. Also I don’t mean we need to avoid hard work; long days at the office; or dealing with a difficult employee, boss, or relationship.
I’m talking about the thing that ends you, where you just shut down and your heart feels like it no longer responds.
The blessing of the Lord does not come with sorrow. He wants your heart to be alive and awake and fully able to dream with Him.
You Can Always Turn Around
If you find yourself building beyond God’s blessing that makes rich without sorrow—just back up.
“Whoa! I’m sorry about that. Let’s not do that anymore. I’m just going to come back over here…”
That place outside the umbrella’s shadow doesn’t agree with the gospel of peace. When we step out beyond the umbrella, we lose the covering that shelters us, and we become exposed to the elements.
“More” isn’t always from God. And that, too, is a beautiful thing. It means we get to rediscover rest.
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