Today’s post marks the end of another endeavor into the book of Psalms. As usual, I was inspired and comforted by what I found in this book of the Bible. When I started this two week look at Psalms, I referred to the book as an oasis in the middle of the Bible. I really do believe that’s true. The thing is, I know a lot of people who are in need of refreshing right now. They’re feeling tired and worn down, and so today if you’re one of those people I just want to encourage you to spend a little time in the Psalms. It’s a beautiful place to relax with God and be reminded of His beauty and truth.
As I read Psalm 49 I was reminded of something that gets discussed several times in the Bible. This time it’s presented with some patented tough Bible talk, which I love.
Psalm 49:10-12 For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. 12 Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.
I really do love when the Bible toughens up. It’s such a loving book, but every once in a while it deals out some straight talkin’ that’ll slap you upside the head. These verses look at a well known Biblical principle, the fact that you can’t take anything with you when you die. All that we amass while here on earth amounts to nothing once we die. No amount of possessions, no amount of wealth, no amount of land, none of it persists beyond death. When we die it’s not about the things we had, it’s about the thing we became while alive, it’s about what we did with the life that God granted us.
Materialism is alive and well in our society. When it comes to things and stuff and gadgets we want and want and want and want and want. It’s an addiction. Sometimes we want something so badly that we can hardly think about anything else, yet once we get the thing we wanted we bring it home and add it to the pile of other things we own and then immediately start thinking about something else we want. It’s not even about the things, it’s about the wanting.
Can you imagine how much more we could do for God if we untethered ourselves from the prison of materialism? If we gave up our constant wants, if we stopped making the measure of success the amount of dollars in our bank account or the amount of things that we own? And look, I’ll say this, it’s easy for me to say all of this stuff. I’m poor and single. I don’t have much money. Luckily, I don’t need much money to meet my needs. My lifestyle is relatively cheap to maintain. I don’t have kids to feed, a wife to provide for, or anything like that, but I do have financial needs. I understand that we need money, and I understand that we can do good with money. I’m not demonizing money or even demonizing the buying of the occasional cool thing. What I’m demonizing is the way we let the word WANT control us. I want the newest videogame, I want to eat at the fanciest restaurant, I want the nicest clothes, I want the coolest car, I want the slickest sneakers, I want the latest phone, I want a bigger TV (that’s where I’m guilty, I desperately want a giant TV). Let’s go before God, both you and I, let’s make it a part of our daily prayer life to ask Him to free us from the prison of wants. Let’s start working on our hearts and our minds, working to change a lifetime of wanting.
If I died today I wouldn’t leave much wealth behind. A few bucks, a broken down car, and a nice computer. My material wealth wouldn’t add up to much more than maybe $1,000. But that’s not what I care about. I want my spiritual wealth to be uncountable. I want to live a life that builds up wealth in the form of love, in the form of sharing Jesus, in the form of impacting lives, of saving souls, of praising and worshiping my King. I want those to be my daily wants, I want those to be the representation of my wealth that’s left behind when I pass from this life into the next.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today I come before you and ask for a massive shift in my life, in the lives of all those people that I know, and in this culture in general. We want everything Lord, and it’s gotta stop. I ask you right now that you change our hearts, that you supernaturally alter our measure of success and happiness right now. Because we’re strangling our spiritual growth, we’re holding ourselves back, and I don’t want to be held back by anything when it comes to my pursuit of you, Lord. Let our desires be your desires, and let us only call success by whatever name you call success. I doubt you call success that latest $800 phone, and I doubt you call it having a brand new car. And while I don’t think you have anything against us having nice things, I do know that our obsession with wanting has to be an affront to you. So I repent of it right now, God, and I ask that you install in me a new set of wants. Make my heart a mirror of your own, let me wake up wanting for the things that you want, Father. Grant us the wisdom to have moderation when it comes to materialism. I read so much in your Old Testament about all of these other gods that people worshiped. I feel like we have just as many in the modern day, and one of them is materialism. And I just come against it in your name, Jesus. Let our pursuit not be after wealth, let it not be after things, but let it be after your heart. I ask that you make that our want each day, that we may work and hustle and study and pray and practice and do all that we do not for our own gain, but for your gain, Lord. Because all the glory in existence belongs to you, and I want to do whatever I can to bring that glory to you. I thank you that you’re changing hearts this very moment, that you’re adjusting our wants and desires to match your own. Thank you for the way you gently guide us, the way you love us, and for all that you do in our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Well, another week of blog posts is at an end. I’m really excited about what’s coming up over the next few weeks here on the blog as we look at two of the great kings of Israel, David and his son Solomon. I’ll be looking at some aspects of these guys that were good, and also at what eventually caused both of them trouble in their life.
I love you guys! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It’s really on my heart to pray for you all, so if anyone has any prayer requests please send them my way via a comment here, an email, a Facebook message, whatever. It’d be my great honor to lift up your need to the King.