Sunday, July 1, 2012

Be Aware Of The Occupy Movement

It is hard for us to accept that it is not possible to have everything. Honestly, we want it all in life, as much stuff as we can get, with as many benefits as we can get. It is when you make the decision to de-clutter a room that you begin to realize how many things we hold on to. And it can be hard to get rid of it. You consider every item and the thing that comes to mind is how much you paid for it and that you might need it some day. So you hold on to it. It is not easy to let go of stuff.

That stuff probably shouldn't have been in our life in the first place.

We want everything even if there isn't enough room in our life for everything and this  is exactly how we are with God and the world. We don't understand that there is not enough room for everything in our life spiritually as well as physically. We have to make a decision: Do we want what the world offers or do we want what Jesus offers. Religion results from trying to have both.

Many of us relegate Jesus to a certain time and place in our life as we try to organize time for everything. We live such busy and cluttered lives that "a place for everything and everything in its place" is our motto.We are trying to do it all and we think we are covering it all as we go to church on Sunday for an hour and set aside 15 minutes every day to do our Bible reading. Maybe, if we can manage the time, we will occasionally go to Bible Study; maybe.

We might be giving some time to God but our heart doesn't belong to him. Jesus is not interested in time-sharing us with the other treasures of our life. He said quite simply it is all of us or nothing. He isn't interested in the fact we were baptised, or that we can list all of the books of the Bible in order, or that we pay exactly 10% of our income, or that we have a perfect attendance record in church. If our attitude is that there is a place for Jesus in our life but we don't recognize that he is our life then he doesn't have all of our heart. The spiritual fact is, we can't have it all:

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6:24)

You cannot serve both God and anything else. This is not saying you cannot live, participate in and enjoy other things but you cannot allow them to possess your heart. They cannot be your passion. They cannot be things that Jesus is not part of, considering that we have died to self and now live through Jesus. It's not like we can step out of Jesus and participate in something without him and then step back into him. Perhaps we have forgotten what has transpired when we denied ourselves to take up our cross to follow Jesus:

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

Maybe we have not really made that decision to accept Jesus as saviour and Lord and to surrender our lives to him. Perhaps we have never experienced the "born again" experience:

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:4)

But you know these scriptures, along with the ones that teach about us as a new creation. Jesus told us that a person does not pour new wine into an old wine skin. As the wine continues the fermenting process there are gases that push against the wine skin. But the old wine skin has no flexibility and explodes. We have to be transformed, made new, to be possessed by the Holy Spirit, to have the flexibility for the new life in Jesus. We can't have what we were and we can't return to it or we will lose who possesses us and lose the life we have been promised.

I see young Christians trying to have it all but it is not all for us. I am saddened to see young Christians dabbling in horoscopes and swooning over young movie stars and singing groups. I am equally saddened to see people wasting their lives trying to gain as many possessions as possible, hoarding away money, and sacrificing everything they have for a position of responsibility or authority. We are forgetting we do not serve ourselves and we do not determine our course. We are forgetting that we do not belong to this place or live by its pattern. We are servants who have abandoned any claim to the things that would possess us in this world to gain the only treasure worth having. All that matters to God is your heart, because it is from your heart that everything else flows. If you want to know where you are with God figure out what you consider your treasure to be? What is your heart occupied with:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

It has always been about your heart.

Check yourself. Have the treasures of this world started creeping back in? Are they holding their own "occupy" movement? There is a reason why the Word warns us to be on our guard, to be alert, to be aware. It's so easy to fall back into the pattern of thinking of this world. But we are different.

Remember, you cannot serve two masters.

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