And if I let my guard down for just a minute or two, I suddenly find myself thinking of me and my needs and my wants and my desires or those of my family. If I\’m not careful I justify those thoughts by telling myself things like, \”Well, we have had a really busy year\” or \”Well, I don\’t usually buy things for myself\” or \”It would be nice…\”
It is in that moment that I have to be intentional about taking every thought captive. The Apostle Paul says this:
\”We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge <sup class="xref" value="(D)\”>of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.\” (2 Cor 10:4b-6)
It is not that these \”things\” around me are bad in and of themselves. A lot of them are beautiful or useful or fun. It is that I allow my heart to desire them.
When I get into this mode where I am getting overwhelmed by my fleshly desires and wants, if I take a minute to stop and evaluate what it really is that I\’m seeking, I always find that it\’s something of little value and something that I know will only bring momentary enjoyment.
If I take a moment and listen to the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, above the noise of this world, I find Him saying, \”But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, <sup class="xref" value="(B)\”>and all these things will be provided for you.\” (Matthew 6:33)
Then I smile and find that these desires fade away. It\’s not that I have peace knowing God will give me all these earthly \”things\” that I think I want, because that\’s not it at all.
No, He\’s saying, \”I\’m enough. Seek me and you\’ll see that\”.
Suddenly I don\’t desire these earthly possessions anymore because I know that it is only God who can fulfill me. And that I don\’t deserve anything but by His grace and through His Son He has already given me everything.
And a new outfit or camera or i-gadget doesn\’t compare to that.
It\’s often in those moments I\’m reminded of those times when we are in the Jung|e, and I look into the faces of these beautiful, naked kids and I see these women who just want to know true love and we hear the chants of the witchdoctors as they summon up the spirits again in a futile effort to make the lives of the natives better and I hear about that little baby who died from dehydration and I think about how spoiled I am and how unworthy I am.
And I can\’t find it in me to care about what\’s under the tree this year.
Suddenly my heart is saying, \”What can I give?\” and \”How can I help?\” and \”I am so spoiled!\”
All I can see is Christ and the Gospel and everything else seems to fade away. And I know that these aren\’t my thoughts at all. We already saw what my desires were apart from Him! But Paul teaches \”for it is God who is working in us, [enabling us] both to will and to act for His good purpose.\” (Philippians 2.13)