I enjoy nice things. I enjoy the feeling of sitting in a luxury car (although I don’t have one) where I feel like I’m a more important person just by sitting in it. I’ve been in people’s homes that were so luxurious that if Mary Poppins were with me she would say “Walter, you are not a codfish”. I enjoy luxury items.
I bring this up because of the very subtle temptation it can be (for me anyway) to shift my allegiance from thoughts of God and the eternal things of life (people) that really matter to the passing pleasures of the things of this world. Sadly to say, the potential is there for each of us to concern ourselves so much with our comforts that we neglect what should be our highest priority of seeking and serving God.
As I look at the Bible, I understand that there were instances where the nation of Israel also struggled with this issue.
*God cautions the Israelites this very thing in Deuteronomy 8:11-14 (NASB)when He says, “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
* or in Haggai, chapter 1 (NASB), when God says, “3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!
Just think of it–people can be so caught up with enjoying their material comforts that they can forget about the Living God.
Just to be clear, the issue I’m bringing up is not whether there is a problem in having nice, even really nice things. I don’t think there is. But, what I do need to be aware of (and you too) is “what are my priorities”?
If my passion tends to be more on my stuff than on developing my relationship with God, I believe that would be a matter of kicking God off His rightful position of honor and substituting something else in place of Him. And how wise is that?
I think the phrase from the verses in Haggai are most relevant for us: “consider your ways!”
What gets you more excited: something you own or your developing your relationship with God and serving Him?
If your passion can be seen by the time invested in it, where are your best hours given: to buying and maintaining stuff or your being in a relationship with God?