What’s holding you back from following God? Is it money? Material possessions? Steph encourages us to store our treasures in heaven, not earth.
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There’s Nothing Here For Me Anymore!
My mother-in-law was a perfect example of the former but definitely not the latter. After moving into a nursing home and before selling the house that had been her home for decades, Dave’s mom took one last look around.
My mother-in-law’s response? “There’s nothing here for me anymore.”
For many people, the material possessions, though not monetarily worth all that much, may very well have held great sentimental value. But not to Dave’s mom.
Oh to hold things with such an open-handed grasp! Her things definitely didn’t have her.
Making Room In Our Hearts And Minds
As I’ve mentioned in previous devotions, we’re in the process of decluttering our home, getting rid of those things we’re not using. The progress is slow going, but it’s very rewarding. We’re making room not only in our home but also in our heart and mind.
However, I have a not-so-secret stash. You won’t find it in the spare room or the basement, not even on my bookshelves. But if you knew where to look in cyberspace, you would be amazed.
There is no way one person can possibly get through all the online course material I have stored up … at least not if that person wants to actually implement any of what she’s learning. I’m an e-course addict.
And what does the virtual weight of all these courses do to me?
It preoccupies my thoughts. It distracts me from my already overflowing To Do list. And, worst of all, it keeps me from focusing on that heavenly treasure I very much desire to store up. The treasure mentioned in Matthew 6:19-21.
Are You Holding On To Material Possessions?
What are you clutching?
Money? Possessions? Reputation? Career? Relationships?
When my kids were little, we watched a Berenstain Bear video over and over and over. The one thing that has stuck with me over all these years is the song Sister Bear sang, “I Want It All.”
And although there are many things I’m quite content to do without, I am still eager to jump at almost every opportunity that sounds interesting. And even though I know I can never complete all the online courses—or read all those books on my aforementioned bookshelves—I’m still far too tight-fisted.
In a way, I want it all. How about you?
In Matthew 4:18-19, we read that the Lord commanded Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, two fishermen, to follow Him, promising to make them fishers of men.
In verse 20, it says, “Immediately they left their nets and followed him” (ESV).
In the next verse, we read that Jesus also called James and John, also brothers and fishermen, to follow Him.
Their response is recorded in verse 22. “Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him” (ESV).
And without apparent hesitation, Levi “rose and followed him” (ESV).
These men and others didn’t cling to their careers, what was familiar, their apparent source of security. Instead, they left it all behind to follow One they barely knew.
The things I cling to seem silly in light of the disciples’ example.
Is Anything Holding You Back?
Maybe it’s time for some treasured release.
How about you? Are there things holding you back from following the Lord and His teachings as revealed in the Scriptures? Are you willing to leave them behind? Are you at least willing to be made willing?
Does this mean He wants You to turn your back on your job, your material possessions, your online courses? Not necessarily.
But if we’re so busy storing up treasure on Earth, we just may be missing what’s most important of all.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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