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…there your heart will be also

I’ve been reading in the book of Matthew (Chapter 6:19-33)  where it says:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I am starting to wonder if God has grown tired of the fact that our confidence is in the things of this world and not in him.  Is it possible that God has allowed this financial crisis–a meltdown, if you will–to shake us from our reliance on the things of this world?  Our money… our leaders… our stuff… our own efforts…

Have we turned away from our relationship with him in lieu of self-reliance?

I don’t know, it just seems that having my cage rattled has deeper implications than the financial mess and its effects on me and those around me.  My last three posts have followed a similar pattern:  God wants all of me but I’m not so sure that I want to give it all up.  I’m not sure I know exactly how to give it all up.  It sounds fine when my heart follows Him…I can get into the emotion of it.   The problem comes is that my head wants to control it all.  My mind and my logic tell me to run for the cover of my own shelter and pile all of my things around me.  After reading through Matthew I realized that my initial reaction was ‘storing up treasures on earth.’ 

What would happen if I just let it all go?  What would happen if my only treasure was in Heaven.  What would He do with me here?  What would he do with you?

God, show me what plans you have for me.  Help me to understand that by giving it all up, I gain much more.  Forgive our greed and self-reliance.  Forgive my self-reliance.  Help us to come to a place where you are all we need.  Change our hearts and minds.  Break our will.  Break our hearts for what breaks yours, I pray…..

4 Responses

  1. AMEN!! When you get to the end of your rope, don’t tie a knot and hang on….instead let go and fall into the merciful hands of God!!

  2. Nothing wrong with having your cage rattled every now and then. I’ll have to admit, this financial situation has rattled mine a bit and, against Matthew’s advice, I too find myself worried about “storing up treasures on earth”.

    But I wonder where the line is between “storing up treasures” and just being wise with one’s money. The Bible has numerous verses extolling the benefits of being wise with your money. I wonder if it’s possible to be close to God and still have a 2-car garage and cable TV? Does a person have to be alone in a cave with nothing, like Paul, in order to be close to God?

    I say that if you’re at the end of your rope, as suggested like Laura, that you pray God gives you the strength to climb back up.

  3. Laura: Thanks for your words. I liked the rope analogy. Well said.

    Aaron: Nothing wrong wtih any of that stuff so long as it has its rightful place in the line of priorities. I believe that God provides. Period. I think he takes away. The point here is that my reliance was trending toward self and not toward God. Expanded, I see that our Nation’s reliance is on everything but God.

    Terrorism didn’t seem to get our attention, Wars didn’t. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, etc, didn’t seem to point us toward him. Perhaps our wallet has to be wrestled from our rigid fingers for a while to show us who’s in control.

    So, be a good steward, by first acknowledging the source. Second, give back to God what is/was rightfully his in the first place (and pray for his direction on how much that should be). Finally, spend wisely. [As an aside, I do believe that my family is able to live like we do because we faithfully give the ‘firstfruits’ every week.]

    The point of this post was to get you to look at what God wants you to do. I wanted you to think about where he was in the order of your life. Mainly, I wanted to make sure that I knew where he was in the order of my life. I admit that I probably have the order a bit screwed up at this point–perhaps someone out there can share in my learning.

    Be well

  4. I remember years ago when Matt 6:33 was maybe one of the most sung choruses in worship services. that’s all well and good, but what we weren’t supposed to be too concerned about (a few verses earlier) wasn’t part of the praise song.

    Great reminder.

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