I had a conversation the other day that left me feeling “less than.” As I listened to what was said, some suggestions that came my way, I suddenly had this feeling of being a failure in this person’s eyes. That by the standard of the world I fall far short of the mark. Anyone who knows me knows I am relatively simple in my likes and my needs. I do not have to have the best of things to feel satisfied and happy. My joy rests in the Lord, not in this world and the things it can offer me. I don’t go on big vacations to exotic places, I do not have the latest anything. My house is extremely modest and I drive a 13-year-old car. These are truths, just some facts about me. I am happy with my place in this world. Content with what God has given me.
My desire in life is to live for Jesus, even sacrificially in my choices. I know that one day I will either leave this earth through death or when Jesus returns for his children; either way, I will not be taking anything with me. I came with nothing and I will leave with nothing. There is a verse in Galatians that says: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God: Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Jesus Christ.” I desire to live as though any second could be my last. To spread the love of Jesus to any I meet along life’s journey. If that means I do without, I don’t have the best of things and I even struggle through this life then so be it!
My life may look fairly pathetic to someone who has much and can do whatever they want whenever they want. They have the proverbial “tiger by the tail.” There is another scripture found in Matthew that says: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” I have thought much about these two verses in the past few weeks. Life has handed me a bunch of lemons, but I choose to make lemonade, and not just any lemonade, the kind that does not lose its sweetness or go bad.
To make it through this life we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus. This world will chew you up and spit you out. You will be judged and found wanting.
If you find yourself overly focused on the things of this world, and your attention is given to the next thing that makes you feel good, feel important you may want to take a few moments and do a heart check. Ask yourself where your focus is? Ask yourself if maybe you are living so good in this life you do not long for the next? Often people are so busy with their stuff, their trips the next big whatever that they lose sight. of where they need to be storing up their treasures. Scripture makes that pretty clear as well, it says in Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I want all my treasure to be in heaven. I want to live in such a way that my focus stays on Jesus, even if that means living in need. Maybe getting a job and working outside of my home would bring in the extra bucks to do bigger and better things, but when I pray and seek God for the “what do you have for me,” I feel complete peace that the ministries I am involved in, even the ministry to family is where He desires I stay at least for now. I want to be like Jesus, I want to live with an open heart and open hands. Giving and blessing and doing all in his name. I don’t want to have so much that I do not long for his return or my heavenly home.
Where is your focus? What keeps your attention? Could you do with less? Do you care more about your earthly home than your heavenly one? Does stuff keep your eyes spellbound? Don’t get me wrong, if you have been blessed with much in this life, good for you! But be careful that your riches do not keep you from a right relationship with Jesus. Be sure you are not too chained to this world and all its goodies! And remember not everyone is the same, and it does not make a person wrong or less than, it just makes them different than you.
I will leave you with this…Jesus did not have a place to lay his head, He lived sacrificially on this earth to seek and save His lost sheep. If the King of the world and the Creator of everything traveled light…shouldn’t we?