“And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table:...” – Lk. 16:21 KJV
The above scripture is part of the biblical story of Lazarus and the rich man as relayed by Jesus Christ. The story revealed both the financial and spiritual state of Lazarus. Whereas Lazarus was so poor that he was feeding on crumbs and dogs were feasting on his sores, his spiritual life was acceptable to the Almighty God so much so that when he died, he had a place in the bosom of Abraham – Lk. 16:22.
The Bible reveals that whereas the spiritual state of the rich man was not acceptable to the Lord (or how else could he have been buried only to find himself in hell – Lk. 16:23), yet he still lived a life of comfort (Lk. 16:19) whilst Lazarus lived a life of poverty. Anyone will wonder why a rich man could fail to have comfort after life but Lazarus had comfort. Could it be because he was rich and Lazarus was poor. Definitely not! God is not against material comfort after all He it was that blessed King Solomon with wealth more than anyone before and after him would have – 2Chr. 1:11-12. He it is that owns silver and gold (Haggai 2:8) and also possess the power to make wealth – Deut. 8:18. Why then will Lazarus who can make heaven be in that state of abject poverty on earth.
The answer is in the beginning of today’s scripture. Lazarus got what he desired and not what he was entitled to. He desired the food for the dogs instead of food for children – Matt. 15:26-27. The scripture says he longed to eat the crumbs from no other place but the rich man’s table which is why he took up a permanent position at the rich man’s gate (Lk. 16:20) and he was never disappointed. God indeed hearkens to the prayer of the righteous (Jn. 9:31; 1Pet. 3:12) as He met fully the desire of Lazarus. So the life he lived even though he was seen as righteous by God, was the result of his desire. The decision you take about the direction for your life, either spiritually or materially is completely your choice. None is ever imposed by God.
Christians need to realise that all that we become is a function of our desire. Whether spiritual or material, a man can only achieve what he desires with support for achieving it coming from God and that again is if the individual calls for support – Matt. 9:29. The Bible advises that we should ask and we will receive – Matt. 7:7-8. The statement is to let Christians know that they cannot get anything without asking and whatever they ask in prayer is what they get. Meanwhile it is impossible to ask or seek for something if it is not desired, so desire precedes demand.
Ability to express oneself at the place of prayer is very important to what we get out of our relationship with God. A wasted time at the place of prayer is a lost opportunity to receive ones desire. Just as one can waste time by getting distracted in the place of prayer, it can be equally disastrous when one allows result to be limited by low ambition. Lazarus was not only desiring crumbs but also had only one source in focus, the rich man. It is best imagined what the life of Lazarus would have been like if he had bigger ambition limited only by God’s Will for his life.
Are you sure that the life that you are living now is best you can get from your relationship with God? Are you sure you are not a product of that limited ambition based on wrong or limited knowledge about what the standard Christian life should be? Is your situation not the product of what you longed for and/or whom you are looking up to.
Desire is about ambition and achievement is about the support received. A Christian may be a candidate of heaven but needs to understand that God desires for His children to be comfortable in this world too – Jer. 29:11. Being a Christian does not mean poverty. All the silver and gold belongs to God who is your father and he cannot leave His children poor when unbelievers are enjoying comfort. God has promised that the reward of the gentiles is for His children (Is. 61:6). You can only get what you ask for, from the Lord and your request cannot be bigger than your ambition.
When you have defined your ambition as a Christian, the person to whom you direct your request also matters. Your belief must include looking in the direction of God for that good thing that you desire – Is. 45:22. It is true that God will not bless you directly but He owns the heart of kings (Prov. 21:1) and he can make you receive favour you need for that desired success – Ex. 3:21. When your blessing comes through Him, you possess wealth with no sorrow (Prov. 10:22) but if it is through men, there will always be a regret at some point – Acts 12:20.
God desires for you not only to have salvation in the world to come, but also that you have comfort in this world – Mk. 10:29-30. All you need to do is to have the right ambition that will guide your desire and present this to the Almighty God and not any man. He will definitely listen and grant all those desires, of course through His own choice of helper (Ps. 20:2) and then you can live that life befitting of the child of a king because that is what you became the minute you became born again – Gal. 4:7. May God grant all your heart desires and fulfil all your plans (Ps. 20:4) in Jesus name. Amen.