Recently, we looked at how worries of life lead us to long for wealth, thinking that it will help us find happiness. But these thoughts mean God’s words and God’s ways get choked off, and we bear no fruit toward lasting achievement.
We need to understand that “money” and “possessions” are actually neutral. It’s our belief system about these things that leads to freedom in God or bondage to self.
The Apostle John warns us against the bondage of setting our affections upon possessions. He warns us because it’s easy to look to them to meet our need for significance and meaning rather than Christ Jesus.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him … The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” -1 John 2:15, 17
Possessions are not wrong, but setting our affections upon them—loving them—causes us to miss what God desires to do in and through us for His glory.
The longing for true meaning can only be fulfilled by God Himself, not by any amount of money or possessions. Our deepest longings for meaning and significance and God’s desire or plan for our lives are not in opposition to one another. Together, they are the fulfillment of all that we truly desire as Christians.
Every alternative to Jesus has failed, is failing, and will fail. Jesus has met, is meeting, and will meet every situation with His grace, power and sufficiency. We only need to trust Him.
Paul once wrote to Timothy:
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” -1 Timothy 6:9-10
If God allows us to be wealthy as we follow Jesus with all our heart and soul, so be it. But if we are driven to be rich because we desire to be important, our affections are in the wrong place.
Remember what Jesus’ words about worry, riches, and possessions were? They can hinder the Word of God in our hearts.
We all fight these battles in life, but Jesus says, “My kingdom and My ways are contrary to this world’s system.” So fight the good fight of faith to trust the Lord with the worries of this fallen world.
Our invitation from our heavenly Father is this: “Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you” (James 4:8). We must constantly be on guard about the pursuits of our hearts.
Let us continue to seek His plan for us before all else and draw ever nearer to Him.