Security: 1. Freedom from risk or danger; safety. 2. Freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; confidence.
You have budgeted, worked two jobs and stopped eating out in order to dump your debt. Great job! You continued your diligence to save six months of expenses in your emergency fund. Fantastic! You sit back and say, “Wow. I am finally secure.”
Not so fast.
Yes, you are doing well with your finances. I congratulate you. According to our dictionary definition, you are much more free from risk or danger than you were without that emergency fund. And your levels of doubt, anxiety and fear have plummeted as you no longer worry about how that slightest financial hiccup could cause an emotional meltdown. You are doing it right, but these steps alone will not make you secure.
It is just possible, according to Jesus, that you might be a fool. You need to be on guard for the rich man syndrome Jesus describes in this story:
“A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”‘
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12: 16-21
This man did very well with his finances; so well that he had a great emergency fund. Yet he was a fool, not because he was rich, but because he placed his security in those riches.
“OK”, you may be thinking. “Just where SHOULD my security be found?”
Great question – one that Jesus answers in verse 21: “in a rich relationship with God”.
Why is a relationship with God true security?
- It is eternal.
“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 8:39)
No matter how big your emergency fund is, it could still disappear. A relationship with God can’t. Just as God is eternal, that relationship is likewise eternal.
- It is unlimited.
“Don’t put your hope in wealth which is so uncertain. But put your hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
You must always remember — your security is not in your bank account; your security is in the Lord.
- God knows what we really need.
“Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need and he will give it to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.” (Matthew 6:33)
He promises to meet our needs if we put him first in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of knowing that the creator of the universe has promised to meet my needs no matter what. That is security.
- Security is more than money.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
Even if you had unlimited resources, you will still have security issues. You might worry about your health or your family relationships or the quality of your friendships. Who understands our psyche better than our Creator? Jesus promises to give us everything we need.
Allow me to close with this quote from Pastor Rick Warren:
“Many of us act like spiritual orphans. We forget that we have a heavenly Father who already knows what we need. Worry is just a form of atheism. Every time you worry, you’re saying, ‘It all depends on me.’
You must always remember – your security is not in your bank account; your security is in the Lord. If God turns off one faucet, he can turn on another. If he turns off one job, he can turn on another. You must seek the Lord.”
Readers: where do you get your security? Do you think it is possible to accumulate enough wealth to achieve security?