"We were closer when we were poorer." The lady who told me that was
speaking about her marriage, and she wasn't poor any more. You could tell
that by looking at her. She was very affluent. But she was telling me that
she and her husband were closer in the early days of their relationship
when they were pinching pennies, and scraping by, and wondering how they
were going to pay the rent, and fighting the wolf at the door. But they
were at least fighting the wolf together.
Now, since that conversation with that lady I've had many opportunities to
quote her at, oh, women's luncheons and dinners. And I always see women's
head nodding in agreement as if that's been the case in their life too.
Apparently there's something about not having much that can make a
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Very
Needy, Very Close."
The Apostle Paul knew about poor making you close, in life's most
important relationship that is. He talked about it in our word for today
from the Word of God. It's in 2 Corinthians 12:9. He says, quoting the
Lord, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is
made perfect in weakness.' Therefore (Paul says) I will boast all the more
gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power will rest on me. That
is why, for Christ's sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in
hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am
I've had the wonderful privilege of meeting believers from a lot of other
countries: Haiti, Africa, India, a lot of places like that. And I've
noticed something about them. It's something, honestly, that I covet. They
seem to live in the supernatural more than I do, and more than most
Christians I know in this country. They seem to pray powerfully and they
expect and honestly they often get miracles. They're radically Christian.
And I feel like a pale office worker who hasn't been out in the sun all
year, standing next to someone who just got back from Florida with a deep
spiritual tan. I want what they have. And one believer summed up their
secret. He said, "Ron, we live in a poor village. We have no regular
support. We don't have organizations or manuals or tools. We only have
God." I can't get those words out of my heart, "We only have God."
See, they're rich in God because they're poor in earth. They're very needy
and they're very close to God. Now, our Christianity is active, and
sophisticated, and well managed, well planned, well financed, and often
pretty powerless. The early church had little machinery and much power. We
seem to have much machinery and, yeah, little power.
I guess there are three roads that we rich Christians can take. One, we
can continue with our mediocrity, doing the biggest things that man can
do. Two, we can learn God's power through a time when He strips us of all
the earth things that we are depending on. Or three, we could use all God
has given us, but put no trust in it.
You know, couples can have a lot but hold it loosely and still love each
other as if they were living on pork and beans. A Christian can live in
America and have it all but ask God to teach them childlike dependency.
All that we have blinds us to our total need - our desperate need - of
God and His power. We're as needy as the Christian from India, barely
surviving in his village. We just don't recognize it. We just don't admit
it. We just don't acknowledge it. We just don't live like it.
When you recognize how poor you are, you're really rich. Whether we live
in a condo or a hut; whether we eat filet or rice, we only have God.