Phil Wickham When My Heart is Torn Asunder

Monday, June 27, 2016

Possessed by Possessions ?

I wasn't sure what to write this morning...but have decided to share with you some passages and thoughts I've been thinking lately.

Do you know that what you think--what you imagine--can either draw you to or away from the place where God wants your mind to occupy?  This verse shows that our mind and thoughts can be controlled by the evil one or they can be harnessed as powerful weapons in the war against sin, darkness and evil.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

What are the "high things" that work against the purposes of God--that keep us from knowing God more intimately?  How does our imagination work against us?
  
Something that God has been pointing out to me is a growing fascination with material things.  Now I'm not spending hundreds of dollars on clothes, makeup, a watch collection....but I don't really think it is the amount of money involved that determines whether or not possessions are becoming problematic.  I think rather, it is the amount of time we spend occupied with them. It is the finagling and scheming and dedicating every spare dime for the purposes of feeding our greed that is the problem.

Any time we become obsessed with the things of earth rather than the purposes of heaven, trouble is sure to result.

Now, granted, there are other "imaginations" and "high things" that can trip us up as well....but basically it is any thing that draws us away from thinking on and serving the Lord with our whole hearts. (Luke 10:27 NASB
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”)
Jesus here was answering the question as to what is the greatest commandment.  And it is clear from this that God does not want anything competing for first place in our hearts.

God has been speaking to me lately on the topic of contentment and greed. (Polar opposites).  In 1 Timothy 6:6-10 and in Philippians 4:10-13,19 God speaks about the severity of the consequences for the sin of covetousness which is the great desire we have for anything which makes our hearts beat fast with longing...anything other than  our Lord.  And the antidote for that sin is the quality of contentment.  Paul in the above passages says he has learned to be content in what ever state he finds himself...full or hungry, rich or poor etc. And because he has learned to be content, he can do "all things"  without being tripped up by sinful desire and wrong priorities.

Ever get a new possession--a recent addition maybe, to a collection you have--and this item has occupied your mind since the first time you saw it until you could get your hands on it and the fascination it holds for you---until the next thing that comes along to divert your interest?  Does this process sound familiar?  If so, click on the passages I mentioned before and meditate on them.  Allow God to speak in your heart and point out to you areas where you need to bring your desires into the obedience of Christ.

Do you think your love for your possessions is no big deal?  Look at this verse:
 
Colossians 3:5 (NASB)
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
 Evil desire and greed add up to idolatry!! This is the sin for which God kept the Jewish people from entering the Promised Land.  Every one of them except Joshua and Caleb died in the desert. God will deal with us most severely if we do not yield our hearts fully to him and allow him to become our finest treasure....the one thing (or person) we desire most of all, above all else that we own.
And really this is a great place to be because there is nothing, no enemy or power or natural disaster or financial calamity that can remove our grip on the things of heaven and our love for the Lord Jesus and his love for us.  That is a love affair that will go on and on forever....ever growing in quality and power.

I confess I have been intrigued by some things lately --and perhaps with more fascination than is good for my soul. I've been thinking about how it is we can come to desire God above all else...to treasure him....to LOVE him with ALL our heart, mind, and strength.  You spend time with the things or people you love.  Does God get at least equal time?

Perhaps it is time to lasso these high imaginations and vain things and bring them to the Lord and offer them to him and tell him how unimportant they are in comparison to him.  Consider what is at stake....and recognize that truly this earth holds nothing that can compare with his excellence and value. There is no one who will love us as much as he and there is no other person or power who can love us as he does and offer us the wonderful future that he is working on now in order to give to us when we are done here on earth.  

What paltry item are you trading in exchange for your soul?  Bring those desires to the cross and ask the Lord to show you what little bit they are truly worth in comparison to his excellence. 

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Center your heart on the goodness and value of God, your treasure.  Fill your mind and fascination with him and he will not disappoint.  Unlike our enjoyment of things of earth, possessions and treasures, our delight in God will not fade with familiarity but will grow and shine until it fills us, every corner and crevice of our hearts and minds until it feels like we will burst with the goodness of God.  This is how I want to love my Jesus.  This is how you can love your Jesus.



 
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