“For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in Heaven a better and an enduring substance.” (Hebrews 10:34, emphasis mine)
Not required to sell
There’s this attitude that creeps up on me every once in a while. While I didn’t have everything I wanted growing up, my needs were met and I was consistently surprised with the big Christmas and birthday presents I received. The major things that inspired a slack-jawed and drooling fervor did I find wrapped under the tree or hidden at the end of a brief scavenger hunt or beneath the small hill of lesser presents that shared the space on the dining room table with my birthday cake. My parents did well in keying what I wanted to what I actually received. But I still want stuff even today—fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years removed from my childish materialism.
“A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.” (Proverbs 17:8)
The one thing, however, that I’ve found growing up and growing older is that I have the authority and the ability to surprise myself (not really, it’s God who surprises us) with things I didn’t know I needed or wanted. This being said, as I continually look for that better thing I think complements my person, the paradigm of atrophy and apathy and complacency (in a word: depredation) continues to gnaw at me. This is why God continues to show mercy and love and grow in me His contentment. It’s in Him that we are able to stop reaching out for more to the neglect of what we already possess. And we possess Him in full if you didn’t already know that (See 1 Corinthians 3:21).
Required to tell
Keep your eye on your stuff, but not in that way; and not in that way either. What I should have said was “keep your eyes on God”. Because if you get your eyes off Him and begin to show too much interest in what He’s given you without seeing that He is the greatest gift, the natural course of the aforementioned cycle of the wearing-down of things will show with more poignancy. The writer of Hebrews says “knowing in yourselves that ye have in Heaven a better and an enduring substance.” Our treasure truly is in Heaven (See Luke 12:33-34). But God is so generous! What do we do when once we cross that threshold of having enough and then enter into having “more than enough”? Here’s a good watchword (Psalm 116:12-14):
“What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people.”
You’ll reach a point where the harvest in your life is more than you can handle (See Luke 6:38). Don’t let that dissuade from giving thanks and enjoying what the Lord gives. Give out what you feel led to give out to whom you feel led. But don’t let it eclipse His face. Continue to “take the cup of salvation” and talk to the Lord. Maintain that childlike relationship that got you where you are today. And when it says “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people”, understand that there are things you agreed to do for the Lord when once He brought you out “into a wealthy place.” (Psalm 66:12) Do those things for Him and don’t be afraid of what other people think. That second part of the passage reminds me of the injunctions of the Lord against being ashamed of Him before those who don’t know Him (See Matthew 10:32-33). This is serious stuff.