As a nation and as a people we tend to overlook our blessings. We have abundance, comfort, and wealth like few others. Our standard of living is so good and so consistent that it becomes common place. Success becomes normal. While that sounds like a great problem to have, it can easily compete with or totally eliminate our desire for God.
We forget our beginnings. We forget the early days of struggle, strife, and bare survival. We also forget our reliance on God and the vital direction our Lord provided during those tough times in life.
When everything imaginable is working in our favor, it would seem that people should gratefully follow God. It is often during the times of plenty that we are the worst followers of our faithful King.
While these situations seem contrary, you can even find them in Scripture. Look at King Solomon in the Old Testament. The poetic man who sang and wrote of romantic love for his bride also broke records of promiscuity with 700 wives and 300 concubines. The wise man who composed so many commonsense proverbs, dispensed practical knowledge, and offered successful living advice quickly flouted it all with horrible extravagance and greed. The devout man who built the temple of God took a final and terrible step of introducing idol worship into God’s holy city to please his foreign-born wives.
Success in the kingdom of this world often crowds out interest in the kingdom of God.
Solomon got whatever he wanted. Gradually he depended less on God and more on the power, possessions, and people in his kingdom. Solomon had the world’s largest harem, a house twice the size of the temple, an army full of soldiers, spears, and chariots, and a strong economy.
Success may have eliminated his disappointments with God, but it also seemed to eliminate Solomon’s desire for God. The more he enjoyed the world’s good gifts, the less he thought about the Giver.
Let us learn the lessons that Solomon did not. May we always count our blessings. May we be obedient servants to a Holy and Gracious God. May we demonstrate our Christian faith in times of joy and abundance. May we enjoy the gift and praise the Giver. May we always place God first and remember that I am second, no matter what level of worldly success I may find.