I believe all Jesus’ parables are given to believers, and each time a man is spoken of, he represents a group of people. This rich man represents a “church” which is carnal, or led by her darkened mind. Immediately after making up his mind to build bigger barns to store up his grain and goods, God addresses him directly: “You fool! (literally: “one without perception!”) This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ To be seen as a fool by the God you claim to worship is truly sad.
Jesus concludes this parable by contrasting two ways of life, which I believe are mutually exclusive: “So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” The foolish rich man planned and labored to “lay up treasure,” i.e. to get ease and security, for himself. As I mentioned before, it’s possible to, by all appearances, be very good in doing this, but the real issue is the SOURCE of the plan and action. In this case, the source was this man’s own mind/soul.
Being “rich toward God” is entirely different. “Rich toward God” literally translates “rich toGod,” meaning to be rich in God’s sight, or: “to possess and be that which God finds desirable.” The “rich toward God” have an inward ownership of spiritual riches such as wisdom, understanding, and fruit. They are those who have been given eyes to see, ears to hear and have used these senses. They have nourished the seed of God’s Word and life in them, and are producing a crop of spiritual fruit. The independent soul of man cannot and will not value the things God finds desirable. No amount of success in any plan or goal which came from one’s own reasoning will survive the testing fire of God, thus the result will be “poverty toward God!” We have to be so careful and diligent on this issue, because the transition from soul to spirit/Adam to Christ is not instant or easy, and many in their blindness continue to walk foolishly and will lose everything they worked for.
If we want to follow Jesus, we MUST NOT live from and according to that life and realm which is done away in Christ,1 which God has no desire for or dealings with. Again, this can be called many things with fair accuracy: the old man, the carnal/fleshly/natural mind, the Adamic nature, soul, ego, self, natural life. This is the realm which in Christ has been done away, and what we must continue to reject. It’s this we are to be set free from. There is no other option – to follow Christ’s way requires rejection of self/flesh/Adam/soul/carnal mind/”reason.” Jesus said so himself. To persist in blindness and carnality, no matter one’s behavior or beliefs, will result in the loss of everything.
I think everyone is either storing up treasure from and for themselves, or coming to possess spiritual wealth in God’s eyes by seeking His word, heeding it, and humbling themselves (in other words, by following the way of Jesus). If you sense truth in this, sincerely ask God to lead you to true wealth and seek Him diligently. Repentance is always step #1, and it’s simply changing your mind to conform to what God is showing you by revelation. I am leaning towards making a part 3 sometime in which I look at the famous teaching Jesus gave immediately following this parable, which makes more sense when you keep this parable in mind. Maybe I’ll do so in a video. I hope this blog is something the Spirit of God can use. God bless you.
1. 2 Corinthians 5:17