A current commercial for a credit card company asks the question, "What's in your wallet?" The company uses various scenarios to illustrate the idea that if you do not have its credit card in your wallet, you are living beneath your privileges because this card has so many advantages over the competition.
As I think about that, I realize that most of us are not really aware of the abundant privileges we have available to us. Truly, we do not know the magnificent spiritual resources we may be overlooking. We could be settling for scarcity when God is eager to share His abundance.
When the crowds that followed Jesus grew hungry, the disciples had no idea how to feed them. They were focused on what they did not have and suggested that they should send the people away to buy food anywhere they could.
But Jesus miraculously fed the thousands and had 12 baskets full of leftovers (Mark 6:35-44).
He is a God of abundance. That is why the apostle Paul declared with confidence, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
The recurring question for us is: do we actually live as though we believe this is true? Is He a God of abundance? Will He really supply our needs in our present situation?
When Roberta Hestenes became president of Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, she was surprised to learn that the school, with its emphasis on preparing men and women for ministry, did not have a music department.
The school had supported one in years past, but administrators dropped it during a period of cost cutting. Hestenes had a growing conviction that God wanted a music department at the college. She really did not receive much encouragement from anyone. Even so, she finally appointed a committee to research what they would need to have a music department.
When the report came back, Hestenes had answers to her question about what they needed to do - but still no money. During the same time, the school accountant was looking for the property deed. Someone suggested that she look in an old safe they no longer used. An administrator assured her that this would be a waste of time since he had already examined that safe and found only dusty old envelopes. Since she had already looked everywhere else, she decided to look anyway.
When she did, she found the dusty envelopes. One was quite thick. She opened it to find a handwritten musical composition that was very old. On the last page she found that the composer had signed the piece - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world's greatest composers. She hurried to tell Hestenes, who was thrilled with the discovery. The composition sold for $1.7 million (U.S.) at Sotheby's Auction House in London.
That next fall, Eastern College had a very fine music department and other things as well.
Scarcity or abundance?
Do you suppose God might have some dusty old envelopes waiting for you to discover? We really have no idea of the resources He has available for us. There may be more potential in your spiritual wallet than you think.
Paul G. Cunningham is a general superintendent* in the Church of the Nazarene.
*Holiness Today, November/December 2007