In my previous post I mentioned the “more-itis” that most of us, myself included, suffer from especially here in the West. Camilla lays out our common struggle, bare before our eyes. It is the honest truth, and I know so as it cuts like a knife. Hopefully, it will inspire you as it has me to again, shift directions, away from the things of this world and back to God our only true shelter in these times. We are on a journey of constant daily course corrections as we navigate the narrow path through this world to pick up our cross daily.
Maranatha, Lord come quickly!
By Camilla Smith
All this walking has helped me to shed quite a few pounds and happily, lose a few clothing sizes. New wardrobe you say? Why of course! How about a few handbags and several pairs of shoes to go with that? Yes, please. Okay, but when is enough, enough? It is enough now. I am starting to feel dazed and delirious and I am ready to get off this little whirlwind tour down Cash and Carry Lane.
So I will. With God’s help, I will get back to that I-Pod and pay attention to the song that seems to come on more often than any of them…“I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Oh, yes it does, seems like every fourth song. Subtle, isn’t it?
“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold. I’d rather have Jesus than riches untold.
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land. I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.”
George Beverly Shea, bless his dear heart, sure knew what he was writing when he put that one on paper.
We all have our struggles with worldly desires. For me, I am an aesthetic type of person. I love to “feather my nest” and decorating my home has been my materialistic money pit. But I believe I have finally grown out of that. However, just when I thought I was improving on my spiritual maturity, trying to please God, tweaking my tithing, losing my desire to buy “treasures,” I find that I need to be fashionable!
What? Now I know that God has been the sole inspiration behind my getting fit and healthy and I give Him 100% of the credit, but did Satan have to jump in there behind the wheel and practically drive me to Macy’s? So here I am, slapping myself on the forehead (yes, I can still picture God doing this and shaking His almighty head at me), and wondering what the heck just happened?
Anyway, I think this is just a diversion, just a bump in the road, because it has been minor and I have caught myself before anything got rocky or beyond my control. But it could have been disastrous. Jumping back into the world, even for a few brief weeks, can lead to certain temptation and subsequent destruction, if you don’t ask God to help you focus on eternity.
For me, my weakness is pretty things. Silly things. Meaningless things. Things. I tell myself that I still have to live here until Jesus comes for us, and so I am going to enjoy my hard work a little bit while I am still here. And that is okay. Control is key. There is nothing wrong with a reward for a job well done.
But one has to know when to stop. And for me, it is time to stop. Eternity is calling. Eternity is forever. Eternity is all that we have my friends─eternity in heaven with our Lord or eternity in hell─if we make the wrong decision and turn our back on God. Time is fleeting on this earth and we are quickly approaching the countdown to God’s final wrath. I do know this–a fabulous handbag isn’t going to look good in flames if you are in hell.
And I am not saying anyone is going to hell for buying a bag, or a golf club or a boat─not at all. But if we lose ourselves to the desires of this earth and choose carnality over God, Satan wins. It’s what he wants. And he plays the game so cleverly. Do not give the devil that power over you.
So enough of my little dabbling in couture. Who needs it? It was a little bit of a kick while it lasted, but then not really. Just not as important as it used to be and maybe that is saying something. When I think about what is awaiting me in heaven, I am overcome with a joy that no dollar sign can ever purchase and I know that my eternal dwelling place will be the most spectacular home I could ever imagine. If heaven has green grass, fields and flowers, I’m a happy girl.
If you find your mind is clouded by the earthly pleasures that are being hurled at us by the powers that be, check your perspective at the door. Maybe you are like me and are being tempted by the goods that will ultimately turn your focus away from the big picture. Don’t let it happen. Ask God to keep you on the straight and narrow and away from temptations and follies of this world. God has helped me regain my priorities. He threw the net out just in time to reel me back in and I am grateful to Him for that.
“…than to be the king of a vast domain, or be held in sin’s dread sway. I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world can afford to gain.”
Amen. Jesus is the King and I love Him more every day. He is the reason I live and breathe and His death on the cross at Calvary for you and me is the reason I will continue to pursue His kingdom. I want to be righteous. I want to be humble. I want to live a life that is pleasing to Him. And I know He is guiding me along that path. I am grateful that He has patience.
My next task?
Giving it away. Becoming selfless. Soul searching. Sacrifice. I’m working on that, but that is for another article…
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In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.