On my mind lately is the paradox how much I regard my stuff and how much I know this truth: Regard not your stuff! It’s a common thing, isn’t it—to fret or to fear or to regard our stuff? We sometimes fear what God might ask of us. We fear He just may send us to Africa (gasp!) or some other place we know we do not want to go; we fear He may ask us to (gasp!) Homeschool, or to (gasp!) submit to our own husband, have a home business or do things we’ve never done or, never (gasp!) wanted to do. We may actually have several “never’s” on our list.
We may think not so much of where we’re going or what we’re going to do as what we’ll necessarily have to leave behind. Consider Joseph:
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
Did you catch a few morsels of truth in that passage? God uses situations — whomever, whatever and however He wants — for His purposes. God used Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes and He will use men and women in our lives, situations we face: mission fields or businesses or ministries He’s given us: to accomplish His plans for us. As wives and mothers, we might not immediately see how He’s using us—it might be years down the road when we get a glimpse of how He’s used/using us. Note what Pharaoh said – and I think what God says to us in verse 20: “Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.”
Regard not your stuff. But we do regard our stuff, don’t we?! We think on our stuff, plan for our stuff, guard our stuff and probably often covet even more stuff. But when God has a plan and that plan calls for action, I think one of the most important decisions we need to make is the decision to NOT regard our stuff.
You know what that “stuff” is in Genesis? It’s the sort of stuff we have in our lives today. Strong’s identifies it like this: from 3615; something prepared, i.e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon):–armour ((-bearer)), artillery, bag, carriage, + furnish, furniture, instrument, jewel, that is made of, X one from another, that which pertaineth, pot, + psaltery, sack, stuff, thing, tool, vessel, ware, weapon, + whatsoever.
Read those words again… you’ll get a better picture of the stuff God doesn’t want you to regard when He places a call for you to do something. And the next time God asks something of you and you’re tempted to say no or to doubt the plan or God’s design for the next season, regard not your stuff… your clothes, purses, 15 passenger carriage or your sports car, your furniture, the stuff in your kitchen, the jewels, pictures, the scrapbooks, the plans, the quilts — hopefully, this little message will come back to your remembrance: regard not your stuff.
Maybe God’s calling you to give Him Lordship of your womb and you might fear you can’t handle what He might bring. Maybe you feel like you cannot take care of many children, or that the needs will be too great. Maybe you are too highly regarding your husband, his life, health, job, finances, companionship — maybe all of those things prevent you from fully trusting the Lord—that it is Him—the Lord—who provides for you, protects you, comforts you, guides you. I know I’ve put my husband in the place of the Lord so many times — feeling quite sure I’ll never survive were he to die before me. Most times, the stuff we’re “regarding” are things we cannot control or are things we fear—things we cannot see.
See? We all have stuff we regard. God knows all this. God knows what you’ve got, what you like, what you need, what you think you need and on and on. God knows it all. But you know what? Most important is: that God knows what you really need and He’s already made provision for it. We, you and I, need to accept His call, accept will, and not regard our stuff so much that we miss it: God’s marvelous plans. Or, worse, that we reject His marvelous plans.
Remember: “… regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.” I think the LORD has this note in Scripture for our good — it’s a reminder to us that we needn’t worry about what we might have to leave behind because He already has a plan for us. And it is good. And it is for our good!
You know a couple of very familiar passages: Romans 8.28 and Jeremiah 29.11. Have you thought on them in awhile? I’d like to say that those two verses, in particular, are very helpful, but I’d like to suggest reading the passages that contain those two verses for tremendous encouragement and blessing. Here they are in part:
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I have more assurance of this than I’ve ever had as I edited this post today. Trials and triumphs, sorrow and tears, joys and delights have taught me so much in the 11 years since I initially wrote much of what’s written here today. And so, I encourage you to rest in the Lord… fret not over what God’s doing in your life or where He’ll call you to go or what He’ll call you to do. Regard not your stuff. No matter how things seem to you to be today: God cares for you, the Holy Spirit is ever making intercession for you. The LORD Jesus has taken care of everything that concerns you. God says He will be found by you when you call upon His name.