S78P6 – Laid on the altar: our self-reliance

Mark 10:23-25

Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”  The disciples were amazed and bewildered by His words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

He prided himself on not needing anyone even though the truth was different than the reality he chose to accept.  In his mind, he was a self-made man.  If he had to define himself, it would be by his bank balance and his credit score.  He looked down at those who struggled financially and could not be as “successful” as he was.  He could not imagine how he would live if he had to go with less.  One thing he could not understand was how people could be content and at peace without having what he felt he needed for his own peace and contentment.  He thought he could find them by the fruit of his earthly labor, so he became reliant on that fruit.  It was not so much that he loved money but that he trusted wholly in the false security it provides.

Having money is not what makes it difficult for some to enter the kingdom of heaven.  It is their reliance on finances, their trust in what they think they have produced on their own, which stands in their way. The people of whom Jesus speaks here have decided to put their trust in earthly riches.  They have submitted to the power of finances for peace and security.  They have been drawn in by the lie that they are sufficient to take care of their own needs.  That kind of mentality forecloses the need for a god of any kind.  That kind of mentality makes a person see himself or herself as his or her own god.  When earthly wealth brings pride and idolatry of self it creates an obstacle between the creation and the Creator.

The only wealth with which we must be concerned is that which we gain through Jesus Christ.  He has everything we need, and provision is the last thing we should have on our minds.  The birds of the air have what they need to grow and thrive.  The flowers of the field are clothed with splendor.  If we want to know God and grow close to him, then we must trust that He will take even greater care for us.  We cannot have a healthy relationship with our Father if we think that we can make it on our own.  We must put our self-reliance on the altar and trust instead in his power to keep us.  Father, give us a revelation of how limited we are, and bring us the humility and wisdom to place our trust not in ourselves but in You.