There’s an old joke about the difference between dogs and cats.
Dogs think: “These people feed me, provide for me, give me shelter, and love me. They must be God!”
Cats think: “These people feed me, provide for me, give me shelter and love me. I must be God!”
I chuckled at this because here you have the same scenario, but with two polar opposite perspectives. Then I thought about our furry friends and realized that we, too, can have the same attitudes about God. It comes down to this question:
Does God provide for you, or is He subject to you?
“Of course”, we might say, “He provides for me; I am subject to Him”
But do our thoughts and prayers reflect that attitude?
Are we thankful for His provision or do we think that His agenda is centered on our prosperity?
We have to ask ourselves: “Am I a “dog”, or am I a “cat”?
Of course, as believers, we can approach God with our wants and needs. He’s not harsh and unapproachable, He’s our Heavenly Father, and as such, He listens to the hearts of his children. (James 1:17, Matthew 7:11).
Yet, in having many blessings, we can take God’s goodness for granted and subtly begin to develop a sense of entitlement…or worse yet, we can fall into a man-centered theology that only glorifies oneself, mocking God under the guise of worship.
I’ve often heard Psalm 37:4 quoted like this: “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart”
The part about delighting in the Lord is often overlooked in favor of the part about the heart’s desire. However, if we delight in the Lord, guess what? Our desires will be His desires.
Therein lies the key- to align ourselves in such a way that we are seeking to pray in His will. We can’t do that unless we grow to know Him through reading His word on a daily basis and through a consistent and authentic prayer life.
While I sit here in my comfortable home, with food on the table and a job waiting for me tomorrow morning, I wonder if I would still be grateful if I lost it all. I wonder… What if I were to wake up one day and find that I’ve lost my health, my family, my home, and everything I love… Would I, like Job, be able to say “though He slay me, yet I will praise Him” ? (Job 13:15).
When I think of the great leaders of the Christian faith such as the Apostle Paul, I just don’t see a great focus on prosperity. He once prayed for God to remove “the thorn in his flesh”, yet God never took it away. He only replied to Paul that His grace was sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:7 -10)
I think of the disciples, who were just common working men. None of them ever put a high value on possessions, nor did they ever believe they could muster it up with verbal affirmations like so many of our churches (sadly) claim today.
Is wealth a bad thing? Of course not. But God is God, and we are not. God gives to everyone a measure of wealth as He sees fit, and if He has blessed you or me with any amount, He does it so we can share it and use our resources for His glory.
One thing we can know is this: God knows our needs. He knows our hearts and our intentions, and He has promised never to leave or forsake those who trust in Him.
And speaking of cats, I have one that is sooo verbal! She’s always got something to say and it’s always about something she wants from me. I know I have the same cat-itude when I covet what my neighbor has that I don’t and continue to give God a laundry list of what I think I need. She’s a lost cause, but I don’t have to be.
Are there areas in your life that you feel like you are more of a “cat person” than a “dog person” or vice versa?