All These Things

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

So I turned on the television to find out that Whitney Houston had died yesterday.  I’ve not kept up with Whitney in the last several decades except to hear occasionally about her unfortunate relationship and drug issues. I do remember her beautiful voice singing, “I get so emotional baby, every time I think of you…” There wasn’t a better theme song in the eighties for love struck teenage girls than that one.

Whitney grew up the daughter of a gospel singer. She grew up singing in church, but then someone discovered her, and took her away from all that. She went from singing praises to super stardom seemingly overnight. Her life took a turn. I didn’t know Whitney’s heart, but if appearances mean anything, she turned away from her first love. I have to wonder what would have become of her if she hadn’t. What would her life look like now?

We are all the sum total of our life choices. Every step we’ve taken in life has brought us to the place we are now. Every step toward God, and every step away from Him.

Our world has lost some super stars recently. Michael Jackson. Steve Jobs. Now Whitney Houston. While no one disputes their talent, neither can anyone dispute their troubled lives. The steps they took away from God. The steps that took them outside of the parameters God set up for their safety and well-being.

Their talents were God given, and yet they seldom used them to glorify the One who gifted them. They used their talents to further their own agendas. Sure, we all were entertained and blessed by those talents, but that’s not why they had been gifted in the ways they were. If our sole purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, if we are gifted in any way, it is then to turn around and give that gift back to Him for His own glory. Not to glorify ourselves.

In 2009 Whitney released a song called, “I Look To You”. She sings about how when nothing else is left and her strength is all gone, she looks to God. She never says His name in the song, but the implication is there. She hadn’t totally turned away from her first love, but neither had she given her gift completely back to Him.

The lure of this world is strong. It’s promises huge, but it can never deliver.  It promises us that more will make us happier. More will make us popular. More will meet our needs. More will make us the envy of all. The lure of this world is a lie. The truth is that He is all we need. He will supply our needs according to His riches in glory. It’s God’s riches we should seek. Not the riches of this world that will fade away and decay. Our charge is to seek first His kingdom, and then all these other things we think we must have will be added to us.

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