“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” (Psalm 16:5)
I earnestly pray for American Christianity to come to terms with this prayer of David. Today, more than any other time in history, we have so many things that can distract us and capture our attention. New gadgets and apps are being created every single day. Technology is amazing, and can be a blessing, but it can also destroy our chance to have the heart of David.
Think of your life as a massive dinner table. On that table, today, there are thousands and thousands of plates and cups that are trying to grab your attention. You literally have endless options. What will you choose each day to take from the endless buffet? David thought the choice was easy. “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup.”
I recently heard a radio interview that was shocking. The man talking had just gotten back from a trip to Africa. He was talking about how seeing children literally struggle to find daily food changed his life forever. Shockingly, the man said, “The children were starving, but the thing that gripped me was their joy.” He went on to talk about how these children, who went days without food, were more joyful than anyone he had recently seen back in America.
How in the world can starving children have more joy than people who have access to anything that they would ever want? I think the answer is found in what the man on the radio ended his story with. He said, “I met a pastor there who told me he was sad for us in American Christianity. He said he knew that we have too many distractions that take away from our devotion to God.” What a profound and accurate assessment. The child in Africa has one thing on his table: God. He or she can easily say, “Lord, you alone are my portion! I may not have food or shelter, but I have you. You are all I need.”
Following Christ is about laying everything down and choosing Him every single day. He is to be first place with second place being a mile behind. That is easy when you have nothing else. It is very hard when you have everything. Clearly, this Biblical principal plays out in life if a starving child is more joyful than someone with access to endless restaurant choices each night.
In no way am I stating that poverty is the only way to God. I am saying, however, our overcrowded dinner table buffet makes it very hard to choose the right portion. This is not a command to move to Africa. This is a warning to choose wisely what you put your hope in each day. The portion you choose will ultimately determine the amount of joy you experience. I would rather have one portion that satisfies than a spread of joyless options leaving me empty. We must get to the place where we can say, “Lord, with endless options, I choose you.” Lord, do it among us!