Okay, I admit it: I thought this sin was purely for men. I can pass on the fancy cars, flashy trucks, fast boats, or faster tech (and most girls I know can too). I’m not into showy do-dads and gadgets or even clothes. So, my conclusion? I was safe from the “American Dream Sin" (which is building my own kingdom at the expense of God’s kingdom). And, let’s be real for a few moments, this is what we do every time when we buy big houses, build big bank accounts, pursue stockpiles of stuff and vacations and “me time” before seeking out God’s intention for our money or our efforts or our time as a good steward should.
Did you know there is an entire, classic magazine that dispels my ignorant presumption? It is called, Better Homes & Gardens. I saw one this week and that is when I realized, with my heart in my toes, this is me building my kingdom at the expense of God’s. This is a women’s “How-To” guide for building her own kingdom – her home – bigger, classier, and grander.
God’s kingdom is built up thru the people inside the house not the flower beds in front of it or the décor that adorns it. But too often the emphasis falls on coordinating the curtains with the wall art and adding the perfect complimentary couch cushions rather than loving those the couch was designed for. To paraphrase – this world is passing away and the design schemes thereof. So, fix your eyes on heaven where God is the Master Designer and invite as many people as possible to your eternal home – because in the end, only that matters.
...on a desert isle...alone...surrounded by ocean...with one measly palm tree that isn't even good for shade...and...well you get the idea.
Actually, I have been feeling this way for several days – maybe you can relate. I’ve been antsy, restless, and simultaneously like my options are severely limited. I seem to see everything there is to complain about while completely overlooking the beautiful, little joys God is constantly interjecting into my life. My mind has been barraged with nagging questions: What’s next? What am I really supposed to do in life? Is God still guiding? And there were – I confess – a few worries. Am I living the fruitful, godly life? Or am I just humanly busy? Maybe this is as good as it’s going to get?
Like a man on the classic desert isle with no shade and no water – I am in need but of what?
LORD! I stand in need of You! Your adventure! Your presence! Your joy! You love! You! You are the One I need. The water, the shade, You are the one who satisfies my soul. And You are delighted to answer my need. So I pray You would answer that need in the way You desire – take me on Your adventure.
Your desire is for God – He is waiting with an adventure.
It’s kind of embarrassing but my brother and I were arguing about a dead bolt lock.
It was bolted to the outside of this door – which was dumb, I pointed out. All one would have to do is unscrew the lock and it would be ineffective. Seven screws, I maintained, then the lock would be worthless. Four, my brother argued. Seven (I was so sure I was right). No, four, and then the door would open.
And (to my frustration) he was right. Because it was his goal to get the door open. But my goal had been to disable the lock. My thought process went only half way. He had the correct long term goal – I was being shortsighted. Just as I am, no doubt, with God.
I pray: Take this “terrible” thing away or bring this “wonderful” thing to me. And then (to my frustration) God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I think He should! That “terrible” or “wonderful” thing is just the lock. The door may be learning faith or patience or having the opportunity to tell someone: “Hey, I know the best news ever!”* But often those long term goals are totally off my radar – God’s goals and my goals are not the same.
So, Lord, may I change my prayer? Please make my goals match Yours.
*The best news ever is that you and I are separated from God by the bad things we do – but God has made a way for us have peace with Him and live forever! He sent Jesus to take the punishment for the bad things we do and purchase our freedom from those sins. Everyone who will believe that Jesus is Savior and walk with Him as Lord are assured heaven with Him forever! Look around and see how beautiful/adventure filled/exciting earth is. Heaven is perfect and it is going to blow earth out of the water!
That is how much money the person who used the ATM before me had left in the bank. They had withdrawn $40.00 and had essentially nothing left. So, I know that while this may have been a source of worry, anxiety and angst -- it wasn’t a source of security.
But what if I trusted Jesus like I only had $2.24 left in the world?
What if I trusted Him like I was sleeping on the streets or was going on 3 months without a job?
Instead of making those things my security net, what if underneath me was the Everlasting Arms?
What if I trusted Him like an orphan who has no idea of his culture or family background?
And instead, heaped all my future hope on Jesus?
What if I trusted Jesus more than philosophy or political justice or….?
What if I trusted Jesus more?
Whoever believes in Him will never be put to shame but have the light of life. Do I trust God?
Or rest (smugly) in my own opinions? To trust in something is let go of all other possible “saviors” and cling to the One you say you trust. I choose Jesus.
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.