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I grew up in an oil town called Fort McMurray. For my American readers, Fort McMurray is located way up north in the province of Alberta, which is located on the western half of Canada.

Fort McMurray was known (still is) as a hell-hole (not my words) because “they” say there is absolutely nothing to do up there but make money. “They” say the people are lifeless and “they” say that all anyone cares about is money and toys and indulgence. I lived a much different experience, but for the sake of today’s scripture, I’m going with what “they” say.

Recently something happened.

Fort McMurray has taken a major hit due to a price decrease in oil. Alberta has taken a major hit due to economic and political conflicts. And currently the Canadian dollar has significantly dropped.

Life is uncertain and insecure for many.

To take it a step further, just recently an article was released stating the suicide rates in Alberta have spike by 30%.

This saddens me on so many levels. I can’t even begin to describe the grief I feel for the people and the province I love. Imagine how God feels?

But today is about Proverbs 23:4-5.
And Proverbs 23:4-5 is about security.
And security is about feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.

Therefore, this passage challenges each of us to ask ourselves:

Who or what am I most secure in?
Who or what makes me feel safe?
What keeps me stable?
What reduces my fear and who takes away my anxiety?

“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder.”

Our trust must be in God alone.

The moment our security is found in money and stuff is the moment we allow our lives to be tossed back and forth by factors that could care less about taking our best interests to heart. I can’t remember the last time money died for me so that I may live, but there are certainly a large percent of people willing to die because money has (seemingly) won.

Luke 12:21 gives the perfect visual.

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Do people notice the square footage of God in your life more than your home?
Do you have more faith stories to tell than you do toys to show?
Can people say your life is rich because of the presence you carry, the anointing you hold, the obedience you walk and the faith you live?

Is your life rich towards God?

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
1 Timothy 6:17

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With a million things to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done, it's easy to zone out and slip into autopilot in order to survive. But perhaps life is not about adding more things to your already lengthy list, but rather, about pausing in the midst of it all to consider if what you're doing is really important.