Our last major move, as a family, was almost 30 years ago, but I
still remember my daughter's reaction. She was just a baby then. We had
loaded everything we owned into this moving van, and then we spent three
weeks on the road. When we finally arrived at our apartment in New Jersey,
the movers were already unloading our furniture. As our living room slowly
began to take shape, Baby Lisa began going to each piece of furniture. She
would hug it, caress it lovingly, and then she'd say things like, "love
couch . . . love chair." We had no idea she was so attached to those things!
It was kind of cute how Lisa was so attached to those things - how
they were obviously part of her security. Now you and I are all grown up,
of course, but we may have become pretty attached to some of our life's
furniture, too - and it isn't cute.
Our word for today from the Word of God, I John 2:15-17. "Do not
love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the
love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the
cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he
has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and
its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
Now here's God's message: Don't get too attached to the things of
this world - they can pull you off course. That happened to one of Paul's
close associates named Demas. In II Timothy 4:10, Paul says, "Demas,
because he loved this world, has deserted me." Actually, Demas had
deserted Jesus and His work for earth-stuff that he loved too much.
Our mission is to love the Lord . . . to enjoy the gifts He
entrusts to us . . . but to always be ready to relinquish them. I wonder
if, as God is calling you to make some kind of move for Him, you're saying,
"Love house . . . love car . . . love job . . . love salary . . . love my
music . . . love my position . . . love this location . . . love this
relationship." And you're holding it too tightly. It is making you
unwilling to move, even though your Lord is telling you to make a move.
God's great stories often begin with someone letting go of
something they consider precious. Abraham, leaving his family and his
lifetime hometown for an unknown place . . . Peter leaving the boat that
was his business . . . Matthew leaving his great job with the government .
.. . Jesus leaving the glory of Heaven.
Could it be that the Lord is asking you to do something for Him
that might call for a sacrifice like that? Is He asking you to be willing
to relinquish an earth-object that you're holding too tightly? It's become
a non-negotiable, hasn't it - a "must have."
When any earth-object or relationship becomes a deciding or
limiting factor in your obedience to God, it has become an idol. And that
puts you in violation of the First Commandment - no other gods before
Him. Maybe you're not just unwilling to make God's move. Maybe you are
willing to compromise to hang onto this thing, to cut spiritual corners so
you won't risk losing it.
It's "values clarification" time. Has something or someone taken
the place of the Savior who died for you? Please - choose for the One who
loves you the most. And that is definitely Jesus. When the Lord asks you
to move, to change, or to risk, don't miss where He's taking you because
you're hugging the furniture.
By Ron Hutchcraft