Last week I was really moved by the truth God spoke through Jeff Oleson’s blog about the tsunami in Japan. I am so happy to see the Lord moving powerfully through His body. Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying about the tragedy in Japan. It has been breaking my heart from the very beginning. The more I’ve been praying, the more and more God has been opening my eyes and my heart to the idea of actively living for something of more importance. I don’t want to live in a world where the biggest concerns are which celebrities are dating, who got voted off American Idol, what outfit I’m going to wear to impress that cute guy at that party, or how much I need to save to afford that Juicy purse. Thanks to Jeff’s inspiring blog and the ways God has been working on my heart lately, I will share with you what I’m learning from the tragedy in Japan.
Let me start by asking where you find your treasures. Where do you find your happiness, strength, values, guidance, etc.? We live in a society that is so comfortable with our wealth that we have lost much of our dependence on Christ. Through the overwhelming amount of pointless advertisements, television, music, etc., we have bought into the lie that we do not need God to provide for us. I warn you all, this world will perish! What we live comfortably for now, will not last. Look at Japan. They are a country similar to the U.S. in self sufficiency. Part of their country was recently rocked, hard. Thousands now have to start from the beginning because they have lost everything! That could easily happen here. I don’t care how many scientists say that based on our fault lines and tectonic plates we could never have an earthquake that large. Like Jeff so wisely explained in his blog, God’s power is large enough! So, what are we living for? What are we putting our comfort in? In the book of Revelation, the church in Laodicea is addressed about their comfort in their wealth and how because of that comfort, they don’t need anything else. They are advised,
“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” Revelation 3:18 (NIV)
“So I advise you to buy gold from me-gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.” Revelation 3:18 (NLT)
Here, we are given wisdom to live for the Lord. We are to live a life where we are rich in faith, in love, in action, and in everything that pleases the Lord because it will bring the best for us. We are to clothe ourselves in the purity He has called us to. We are to seek out His guidance so we can see the truth! I found out through some research that Salve is a medicinal eye ointment that was a great source of wealth for Laodicea. God wants us to give up even those things of great wealth and value to us, in order to see His truth and for our eyes to be opened to Him. We can not serve two masters. 1 John 2:15-17 we are told,
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
So, here’s my challenge for you as well as myself. Spend some time with God in desperate prayer. Ask him if there is a change you can make to take focus away from the things of this world and put that focus back onto Him. Take steps to do something different this week that leads towards living for Him. Maybe sacrifice an hour of television and take a walk to meet a homeless person. Even if it’s just asking for their name and wishing them a blessed day. Even little steps help towards a greater goal. Maybe call up someone you have bitterness towards and offer to take them out to coffee or lunch. Make humble amends. Maybe it’s just sacrificing 30 minutes of sleep to meet with your loving Father who desperately desires to hear the cries of your heart. I’m convicted. I hope the Lord speaks to your heart and that all glory be to Him.
Devotional Author: Brittany Brown