It's a dastardly scheme of the enemy's. A devastating blow against the Christian walk when a believer does not have the Christ as the Lord over his life. So easily do the attractions of the world creep in and arrest our attention. We turn from the reason for our existence and allow our minds to grow dusty in regards to how we think of Christ.
When materialism, or social help, or Christian ministry, or community service, or hedonism, or any other entity or idea other than Christ becomes our aim, we are trapped in a temporal state of mind.
I drove down from Ohio to Georgia last Tuesday. I was concerned about money and the maintenance I had to perform on my car. I had just gotten my oil changed and was forcefully warned about all of the different ways my car could spontaneously combust at any moment if I didn't immediately drop $1,000 on it. Driving to Georgia, I began to worry and fret about finances. Need I elaborate? I think everybody's been here before. Sometimes worry just grips you and numbs your mind with fear. It's eerily consuming.
But at the same time I was thinking and pondering how to maintain an eternal perspective on life.
I'm tired of falling in the trap of losing perspective and I want out. I don't want my thoughts to be consumed with what to get who for Christmas, or where am I going to get money for ______ , how long will it take us to raise support? I want to live with the big picture, the eternal picture in mind. This earth will fade away. Its pleasures, its politics, its popularity, and its positions. That is why Jesus said that the first shall be last. Everything will be flipped upside down and shaken up.
My mind flicked back from one to the other. Money, Christ, money, Christ.
It is only when we have Christ as the center and definition of our very being (Gal 2:20) that we live in light of the way things really are. If everything in life is going fine, I think it's easy to lose sight of this. The happy, stable person is in danger of losing touch with reality. The person who is concerned about finances for the good of his own family is at risk of losing the most valuable thing he has. As I asked God how to maintain my grasp on reality, I was lead again to think about my financial situation.
Finally I realized that only when we choose to believe what Jesus tells us, and live like we believe it, will we be able to keep our priorities in order.
I must choose to trust Christ with my finances and actively rebel against the thoughts of worries and tight-fisted temptations that come my way. This is one way to keep Christ at the center. Thank you, God, this Thanksgiving, for a difficult financial situation to keep me trusting in you.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:25b-33 ESV)