Buzzing in and out of stores today with my beautiful mother, reminded me of one haunting thing: the buying of stuff is addicting and at the very least dangerous. As a friend said the other day, “shopping begets shopping.” Scripture says it another way in Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. I think there’s an “elementary principle” at play when it comes to materialism. The more you give in to want the more you want. Perhaps that is why the Psalmist said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The Lord is my Shepherd…I have all I need. The Lord is my Shepherd...He gives all I need. The Lord is my Shepherd…The Lord is precisely what I want.
A singular desire for Jesus is hard to cultivate in a culture bent on telling you what you “need.” It couches it in terms of what you “need” lest you realize that greed is getting a grip and you’re about to slip straight into sin’s stronghold. I felt that pull today. I got one thing, ah, but it wasn’t enough. My eyes saw something else. My heart nearly choked to have it. I well imagine, in America, we all know what that feels like. I had to look at that temptation and propensity to sin and tell myself the truth. The Lord is my portion (Psalm 16). The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23). I have all I want even if I don’t know it. He is all I want. He who owns everything and is preeminent above all things. HE is the desire my heart longs for even when it feels like my heart is panting for something else, something tangible, something with a price tag on it. Did we forget that “greed amounts to idolatry” (Colossians 3) and just as I read in Jeremiah this morning those who worship worthless things become worthless (Jeremiah 2:4, ESV). In the case of those bowing to the god of stuff, we sin and become worthless in regards to impacting the unseen Kingdom of God. God can change that though. Christ Jesus so thoroughly satisfied the debt of sin we owed that we can turn from our filth and live in Christ’s freedom.
Freedom that says, “Oh yeah, I’m fine if I have that, and I’m fine, perhaps better, if I don’t.” But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content (1 Timothy 6:8). The Lord really is my portion and my cup. If He supports my lot, that really is all I need. Yes, I have a beautiful inheritance, and it can’t be bought…it’s free. Oh to remember what is seen is temporal but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
With love in Christ,