16 Then he told them a parable: “A certain rich man’s land produced a bountiful crop. 17 He said to himself, What will I do? I have no place to store my harvest! 18 Then he thought, Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. That’s where I’ll store all my grain and goods. 19 I’ll say to myself, You have stored up plenty of goods, enough for several years. Take it easy! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.”
What makes us rich toward God? In this passage a man is overwhelmed by success and loses sight of God's priorities. This process begins by who he listens to. Verse 17 says "He said to himself...". Verse 20 begins "But God said to him...". The rich man's spiritual poverty began with the voice he listened to the most, his own. He had grown accustomed to making decisions in his own self-interest. Jesus says this man's riches will count for nothing in His Kingdom.
Spiritual riches begin with the ability to hear God's voice and obey it. Recognizing God's priorities will lead us to handle our affairs not according to logic, consensus, or cultural values, but rather in terms of God's will. In fact, God has a long history of calling us toward the counterintuitive. We are here to build God's Kingdom and not our own. His words in our ears must always outweigh other considerations.
Is God a part of your plans or are you a part of His?
Father, I confess that I spend to much time listening to the voice in my head. I try to work things out before I come to you, often to ensure my own advantage. Teach me to give up my right to myself, my talents, my possessions. I need to put my faculties at your disposal to accomplish your will, not my own. Help me today, O God, to stop, look, and listen to what you are doing in the world around me. Let me join in your work today instead of asking you to join in mine.