I'm very happy with the things God has chosen to bless me with. From my job, my vehicle, my house, and my beautiful wife to the very breath that allows me to get up in the morning. One thing I've always been quick to do is to give God thanks for all He has given me. I am so immensely happy to have the opportunity to steward all that God has given me. That being said, the moment I realized something had caused me to throw all of that out the window, I was concerned.
This past week I had the opportunity to attend a friends going away party. It was being hosted at the house of a man who I had heard of but never met before. From the moment I pulled up to this man's house, I began to allow subtle lies to enter my mind. At first they were unnoticeable but throughout the night I would come to realize they had consumed me. This house belonged to a single, retired man with no commitments who had worked hard to get what he owned. Yet, after spending only several hours there I had envisioned what my life would look like living in that home.
I began to allow subtle lies to enter my mind. At first they were unnoticeable but throughout the night I would come to notice they had consumed me.
He had everything I could have wanted: A large, nice house on the water, a dock with a boat, a large yard. Everything I've ever "dreamed" of having in life was right before my eyes. The more time I spent there, the more my thoughts drifted towards, "you should want this" or "you deserve this". I had gone from a man, content with all my blessings to a kid in a candy store, exclaiming "Mine, Mine, Mine!". By the end of the evening, I had envisioned what my days and life would look like if I had lived there. All the things I would do (or not do because I didn't have to). Oh, don't forget all the parties I would have if I lived there. Yet, after having a conversation with the homeowner, he said something that snapped me back to reality. He said, "Honestly, it can get pretty depressing here at times."
What in the world could cause a man who was seemingly living the dream to find himself with occasional feelings of depression? As a Christian, the answer seems pretty clear and it can be found in Matthew 16:26 (Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25, Proverbs 11:4). He had all he could want in front of him, yet he had nothing without Christ. He was searching for comfort in his things yet those things provided no comfort. He was wealthy in this world, but spiritually he was in poverty. He was chasing something but he couldn't attain it. Yet, here I was, knowing the truth and at the same time pursuing the same things with my heart in that moment. I didn't want what Christ wanted in that moment, I wanted what Satan told me I wanted.
He was wealthy in this world, but spiritually he was in poverty.
I look back to the moment in Matthew 4 when Satan is tempting Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, that Jesus said: "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” and I'm so thankful for this. Jesus knew the truth that material things in this life will amount to nothing in the next. Because He knew this, He was able to look at the father of lies and call him out for what he was, a liar. Satan and this world can offer us nothing of true value. We're marketed dozens, if not hundreds, of products daily and they all sell the same message, "You need this. This will make your life better". There's only one thing you NEED and that is a saving faith by grace in Jesus Christ. As my Pastor wisely stated: "We deserve hell. Everything else is a gift. That's a lot of gifts".
With You God, I have much more than I could ever need or want. With all I've been blessed with, I have no reason to covet anything beyond what You have given me. Above all else, I'm thankful for the gift of salvation, which I could have never earned or deserved. I repent of my covetous heart and pray that I would daily stand in appreciation of all that God has given me, from the breath in my lungs to the shoes on my feet. Let me look upon all things in a way that brings glory to Your name, Jesus. Amen.