Earthly

This will likely be my most unpopular post yet. So be it. 

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Phillipians 3:12-21 (Emphasis mine)


In the grocery store this evening I crouched in front of the pasta sauce shelf for at least three minutes. I agonized between the regular, or the organic for an extra $3. The label really got to me, it was a clean white, with a single vegetable in the middle, ingredients proclaiming it's healthiness. I was, indeed, bowing before the alter of my own religion. This religion, I fear, has it's claws deep inside of my culture, my generation. This god has clothed itself in innocent narcissism, it beckons us to indulge ourselves in the lust of our eyes.

Seven years ago a work was being done in me that yearned, pleaded to be different. I was disgusted with the self-serving religion, I hungered for "radical". And, by the grace of God, I was led to action. This was a period in my life I will never forget, when the Lord used the meek to disable my arrogance. Unfortunately, I am a fickle creature and in the past few years my "mind has been set on earthly things". I have coveted so deeply the things that I don't have. I have desired debt for the appearance of prosperity. 

Is Jesus enough?

No, not for me, you'll see this by my actions and by my desires. I get an immediate uneasiness when David talks about living for another world, because I am more than comfortable and relatively content where I am. And, as he has said, we are always seeking to make this home more comfortable, eat to live here longer. I do not wish to be a slave to anyone, anything - and when I surround myself with all I desire, I am no master-
I am strengthening the bars of my own prison.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
- Philippians 4:12

God gives and takes away, and, as I was told recently, we must hold everything with open hands. The thought of getting rid of my iPhone nearly paralyzed me, indicative of it's position in my life: idol. It's not only the things that consume my mind, it's people. What will they think? What if, what if I approached them on this issue? Will they leave me, will they slander me? Am I desirable? 

All it takes is a hearty look at the New Testament to realize the answer to each and every question posed: who cares. Who cares if the world wants me if I am running toward Jesus - the blinded and depraved did not/do not want Him. They are too busy clutching fading things with greedy hands to look up. I am too busy wanting to want Him. 

Some weeks ago I lay sleepless worrying about how to use space in a potential new home, a potential new home that quickly became an idol.
Time to let it go.
I have never lost sleep over serving Jesus.
God is merciful, and so gracious to allow us to continue exhaling His air, when with those same breaths we curse His Name. It's as though what we give was ours to give when we chose to give it - as if we would have anything apart from what He's given to us. Hold with open hands.

This is no promise that I'm going to walk down a perfect road. In fact, releasing this to the eyes of others concerns me (my people pleasing self) that I will be nailed to my words. So be it. 

I was moved, and so will share.