Restraint

During our Global Outreach prayer meetings, I have become fascinated (again) with the notion of restraint. It seems, at some point, everyone would agree that restraint is a good thing. Yet our training tends to suggest, “Purchase and own as much of everything as you can afford.”

A talk show host is reported to own over 100 cars and 100 motorcycles.
The Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina is a home of 175,000 square feet designed in 250 rooms.
The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport sells for $2,700,000.
An evangelist I have met spent approximately $30,000,000 (cash) for his private jet.
The Sixteen Course Degustation Menu at the Joel Robuchon is $395 per person.
A sperm donor was recently informed that he has approximately 150 children.
In The Netherlands a recently jilted woman called her former boyfriend 65,000 times.
C.C. Sabathia makes $95,833.33 everyday, seven days a week, of his seven year contract with the New York Yankees.

Is anyone sensing a need for restraint in our culture today? I am innocent of splurging on any and all of the things listed above, but, unfortunately, I often fail to practice restraint at my level of living.

Sometimes I take in far more calories than necessary or even healthful.
I purchase things with “bells and whistles” that I will never use.
I have items that get used less than once a year.

Challenging the “If you can afford it, go for it.” mindset is a huge risk in our materialistic society that is dominated by affluenza. Yet, from my perspective, I think it would be better to live with financial restraint and stand before God and find out I was wrong, than to live without financial restraint and find out I was excluded from God’s eternal blessings.

Just because a guy can afford a liquor store, doesn’t mean he should drink everything on it’s shelves.
Just because a person can afford 80.000 calories a day, doesn’t mean they should eat non-stop.
Just because a person loves to exercise, doesn’t mean they should workout 24/7/365.

Maybe the Bible guy who had the most trouble with this was…………..King Solomon. What do you think? He had nearly a thousand wives and concubines, wealth beyond measure, and power and control above all. All of this opportunity for excess may be why he penned these amazingly appropriate words for our affluent society, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” Proverbs 29:18

If, as the US Supreme Court voted, it is legal for a man to marry a man, what will keep them from voting that a man can marry two women, or three women, or a child, or one woman, a dog, and an orangutan?

From my perspective, it is time for me, and possibly you, to have a greater revelation so that we do not cast off restraint. As the God’s Word Translation states, “Without prophetic vision the people run wild.” I do not want to run wild, so I am seeking a greater prophetic vision.

I seek this with urgency, because Jesus taught that the lack of restraint to meet the needs of the sick, poor, naked, and imprisoned, is an eternal deal breaker. “Depart from me!” is not on my wish list. Everything in me longs to hear, “Well done. Enter in.”

Yesterday, as I was driving down the road with Pastor Jean Zida (International Director of a powerful humanitarian ministry that focuses, in part, on orphans) I noticed a gorgeous, sleek, beautiful and brand new Porsche driving in the next lane. “Pastor Zida, look at that amazing car. It must have cost over $100,000.”

“What for?” Was his reply.

Restraint.

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