Now I ain’t saying you’re a gold digger, but…

we can sit around and discuss devotional strategies til Jesus returns, but the straight truth is that i don’t usually read a book, or start the morning with Hillsong.  and i don’t get on my knees and pray for my needs or the entire US of A before i start the day.  i sip my coffee and search the soul of the world for a voice, a lesson, basically some sort of behavior that strikes me strategically.  most often this comes through music.  this morning, Kanye’s Gold Digger came on & bam!  i saw something so clearly: what’s up with christian gold diggers?

i started singing my own little diddy… “now i ain’t sayin’ you’re a gold digger, but you ain’t messin’ with no broke God… went and got yourself lypo with His money, runnin ’round lookin’ like Michael with His money…” He’s got the cattle on a thousand hills.  He’s got the world as His footstool and full command of the angel armies.  i get it.  our God’s got it going on.  but there are certain common christian practices that just don’t set well with me or the teachings of Christ, for that matter.  things that are a bit “gold digger-ish”, if i may be so blunt as to say.  our God is a good god, but that doesn’t mean we’re entitled to all the goods.  (i understand that those words are like heresy to some readers)

do we look much different than the common hootchie gold digger hangin in VIP lounges,  frontin’ and flashin’, braggin about our “daddy’s” wealth?  droppin His name like some sort of credit or guarantee that if you follow this formula you’ll be rollin’ in riches.  seriously, we’re experts at sweet talking our way onto His lap to make our requests & manipulate the His words just so we can be spared from struggle & enjoy more stuff. we are a whacky bunch and our God is no fool.  my daddy isn’t made of sugar and neither is my God.  our provision and prosperity have never ever been stated as His top priority.  but yet it’s the message we want to hear.  it’s the message that appeals to the darkest part of our souls. it’s the message that grabs the largest audience and ironically the biggest offering.  it’s the message that pacifies our fears by promising better than what we have or what we are experiencing.  this may seem like a tricky subject, but i disagree.  it’s pretty simple.

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.

Psalm 16:5

here’s the dilemma, when we push for more than our portion, inevitably someone else has less.  (whisper) inevitably.  Christ was right when He said, “the poor you will have with you always.”  it’s true, for the greedy we will also have with us always.  when you feel that you have something because you asked for it, worked for it, or made a deal for it, then you have a harder time letting go of that thing.  individuals do this, churches do this, this happens a lot.  we love to quote catchy sayings like “God is a god of multiplication” when it serves our desire for more, but we are a people of division and percentages (i won’t go there today).

the question is, if the only thing you were offered while on this earth were spiritual freedom & God’s presence in your life, would you still be a christian.  would you still give, serve, praise, sing out, be filled with joy, find contentment, and live a full life?  or would you be hollering, “we want pre-nup! we want pre-nup!”

“Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships, doesn’t eat at the pagan shrines, doesn’t worship the idols so popular in Israel, doesn’t seduce a neighbor’s spouse, doesn’t indulge in casual sex, doesn’t bully anyone, doesn’t pile up bad debts, doesn’t steal, doesn’t refuse food to the hungry, doesn’t refuse clothing to the ill-clad, doesn’t exploit the poor, doesn’t live by impulse and greed, doesn’t treat one person better than another, But lives by my statutes and faithfully honors and obeys my laws. This person who lives upright and well shall live a full and true life.”

Decree of God, the Master.

Ezekiel 18:5-9

imagine that.

go’head girl, go’head get down. go’head girl, go’head get down…

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  • Comments (12)
    • Marie
    • May 11th, 2010

    Julia, thank you for the inspirational kick in the ass!
    I once came across a verse in the same vein that left me distraught.
    In Daniel 8:16-18, Daniel and his friends clearly demonstrate the state of mind you are talking about, or at least it’s the way I understood it: even if God didn’t do more for me than saving me and calling me his own, I would follow him.Even if he didn’t show up when I call him, just the fact that He is, makes this life worth living, worth fighting for.

    Well, I can tell you I am still not over it…Working on not being a gold digger might take a while, meanwhile, it’s your posts I dig! :p

    Please, keep inspiring us!

      • JuliaKate
      • May 11th, 2010

      you cracked me up with that last line! Marie, thanks for bringing up such an awesome example of Daniel… reminds us all that God’s presence is the most valuable thing we could ever have access to, more important than any sort of loot. miss you chica;)

    • Dorienne Elston
    • May 11th, 2010

    Keenly accurate, Julia!

    Generally, the American church is a whore who will gladly lift its skirts for a few bucks. The sad thing is, that’s so much of what we hear from the pulpit. We are inundated with greedy messages. Give-to-get, I’m the child of the King and God wants me rich! We pervert Holy Scripture into incantations in an attempt to conjure us wealthy.

    There’s an ancient Jewish saying that Paul drew from when he wrote that he knew what it was to abound and to be abased. The saying goes “Who is rich? He who is content with his lot”.

    Jesus had something to say about this, too. “Give us this day, our daily bread”. In other words, “Lord, You know what my portion is for today. I ask You for that. I ask You bless me with what You have designed to be mine. Nothing more, nothing less.”

    Of course our Majestic Father wants to take care of us. However, we must never assume that entails millions in the bank and two Roll Royces outside our luxury home.

    There is a ‘curse to self-sufficiency’ that is never preached in American churches. Jesus spoke of the rich man, the camel and the eye of a needle, remember? Wealth and fame can harden a heart to God.

    In short, would we choose the million dollars if it turned us away from our Lord? Would we choose to remain dependent on Him for our daily bread and daily press into His loving Arms?

    As you said above, Julia, our Mighty King and Loving Father is no sugar daddy.

      • JuliaKate
      • May 11th, 2010

      i have been a “victim” of the curse of self sufficiency… so glad to be free in His sufficiency. and His grace is sufficient;)

  1. Love the post Julia…and I can’t get the song out of my head.

    This behavior is one-sided and selfish. It becomes about “me” and no longer about Him. I see so many “Christians” fast for everything from a new job to a fix in a marriage to even camp being successful. It seems fine from afar, but up close it resembles the incantations & sacrifices of the “pagan” belief systems of old. I’ll do “A” so that my god will do “B”. We become the masters. We are in control. Maybe it’s putting the little extra offering that week so God will find in His heart to provide groceries. Maybe it’s simply being a “good” Christian and not sleeping around, cursing, drinking the devil’s juice or smoking all for the sake of getting what’s “yours” in the end. “If I do everything I’m supposed to, then one day day God will give me the house/spouse/job/etc I always wanted.

    The point is this. Sometimes the “gold-digger” mentality is blatantly obvious (like we see from some TV Preachers), but most of the time it sneaks in under the guise of “good” Christianity. Let’s remember (or learn for the first time for some out there) that God’s GRACE is undeserved. There is nothing we do or don’t do that changes it. It is was it is. His love is unconditional. It doesn’t change because we are “good” or “bad”.

    People have looked at me in confusion when I state how “blessed” I am…even when I wasn’t sure how I was going to feed my family. That’s because they don’t understand what real blessing is.

    • Liz
    • May 11th, 2010

    These are tough words to hear. What do you mean God isn’t going to grant my every desire when I am “good” Christian? I agree with Josh in that this mentality can be so sneaky. But fortunately for us, life isn’t fair. We wouldn’t have grace without it.

    Marie, I too, have loved the book of Daniel and his friends. They didn’t allow their choices to be conditional. They wouldn’t bow down because they loved God and refused to worship another. They had faith in God beyond whether He would pull them out of the fire in that moment or not. So challenging for me in my life. Will I choose to obey and love God even if He doesn’t give me what I ask for?

    • Phil
    • May 12th, 2010

    Trust in the LORD and do good;
    Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
    Delight yourself in the LORD;
    And He will give you the desires of your heart.
    Commit your way to the LORD,
    Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
    Psalm 37:3-5

    There are two ways to read this verse:

    1. With the heart of man.
    2. With the heart of God.

    Lets see what the Bible has to say about the heart of man.

    Genesis 6:5 (New King James Version)

    5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    You might say, those were the people God washed away in the flood, so this verse does not pertain to me. Wrong, listen to this.

    Genesis 8:21 (New International Version)

    21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

    We see now, it is a fact that God admits and knows the inclinations of our hearts are EVIL from our childhood. I wish this was not the case and that we humans did not have to wrestle with pleasing the lusts of our fleshly hearts, but it is the truth. As Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31

    In the end God will have his way with corrupt church leaders.

    To all who want to know what the heart of a Christian should look like, I leave you this passage.

    Ephesians 3

    Paul the Preacher to the Gentiles (Christians)

    1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
    2Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

    7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

    A Prayer for the Ephesians

    14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
    20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

    • Phil
    • May 12th, 2010

    BTW, thanks Julia for this great topic. Well written, great insight.

      • JuliaKate
      • May 13th, 2010

      thanks so much Phil. and way to go… laying it all out there. the bible is an interesting book now isn’t it… so full of answers;)

        • Phil
        • May 14th, 2010

        Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Dorienne
    • September 17th, 2010

    Below is a direct cut-and-paste from a Christian ministry email I got about Yom Kippur; that the Day of Atonement will give you double portion blessings, et al….

    “Dear Friends,

    “We are entering into the Fall Feast Season of Lord-appointed times of holy convocation. And God has reserved His holiest day to meet with you!

    “You can experience unprecedented POWER and incredible BLESSINGS through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ by honoring God on His holiest day of the year —

    “September 18th is The Day of Atonement and your opportunity to release seven specific blessings into your life.

    “Don’t miss this specifically appointed day to honor God with your best Atonement Offering . . . and release the SEVEN-FOLD BLESSING OF THE ATONEMENT He has promised!”

    Of course, our wonderful Lord wants to take care of us but His Word and His Ways should never EVER be used as incantations for money and self-promotion.

    • Thanks Dorienne. I visited one of the biggest mail houses in Oklahoma, and second largest next door! The strategy that is cultivated there is a neighbor to the witch of Endor! A woman who called up ghosts – those who come from the past…Makes me think of Cain, who had his own story of offering… its an old story…and old practice and I am getting old just thinking about it!

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