As life moves forward at a pace that is nearly unsustainable, it is far too easy to get caught up "in" the world and it's ideas of bigger, better, more. Pop culture is consistently pressing us to want; to want the latest fashions, to want the new advanced technologies, to want granite countertops and a hundred other things. Take a moment, as I have lately, to think about all the things of this world that are on your want list. How many of the items on the list are the result of the influence of the world, pop culture? I would dare to say all of them as I know that's what my list looked like as well.
So the challenge I face, and that I extend to you, is to make a new list but this time, a list of wants that will last beyond your time "in" this world. A list that will be impactful on lives other than your own. My new list includes: I want my children to know Jesus, I want to serve the Lord in every aspect of my life including at work, I want time each day to spend worshiping God, I want a circle of friends that live according to God's will, I want the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me, I want my gifts to be used make other peoples lives better. I think you get the drift.
Am I saying that the "stuff" of this world is bad, or wrong for that matter? No way. What I am saying is that all of the things that were on my list like, a red Corvette Z06, Alumacraft Tournament Series fishing boat, iPad, 50" LG LCD w/ integrated internet, etc. were in no way, shape or form intended to serve anything or anyone but me. I have spent the last 15 years of my life in pursuit of the stuff that I believed to be missing in my life that would somehow bring joy, happiness and fulfillment to my life, for ME. What I gave learned is that this pursuit lead to emptiness, frustration and the feeling of struggle to continue to have more, more and more. I often thought to myself, is this really what it's all about? Working my tail off everyday to pay for "stuff"? Chasing the stuff of the world is so temporary, much like when you are really, really hungry and you decide to have Chinese food. Sure you can eat and eat and eat and get stuffed to the gills, but you know that in the next couple of hours you will be hungry again, never really satisfied. Is that how we are supposed to live everyday in our life, consuming but never satisfied? In the past I'd had brief glimpses of understanding and insight into managing my priorities but the enemy would always win out and I'd get right back on that treadmill of desires! I could never make the commitment because I wasn't willing to "sacrifice" not having the "stuff."
I know that my Redeemer lives. Job 19:25
Because we have a faithful and loving God, my life has been changed. My Redeemer has come to show me that having the desire to own and have nice things isn't wrong, it's just not a priority. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be awesome to have all the things on my "worldly want list", but it's not the list that motivates me and moves me forward everyday. The Lord has shown me, quite distinctively, that those things are the byproducts of a life of service to God and His people. When we are willing to lay down our life for Him, we are blessed beyond our knowledge. First we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul!
To love, serve and give out of the goodness of your heart and for the sake of experiencing God, for me, has been the key to the most incredible feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment in life. I was told many years ago that if I wanted to feel better about my life and myself, go help someone else. Jesus came to teach us all how to love and serve one another. He left us the Holy Spirit to give us comfort and direction in our service to Him. My Redeemer lives...in me!
Take time today to re-prioritize your life; make time for the Lord daily; and open your heart to Jesus so that He may be Lord of your life today.