Imagine that you are walking through the mall to buy a birthday present for the celebration you have to go to later that night for one of your closest friends. On your way to Forever21, you stop in at an accessory store just to take a peek. The saleswoman asks if she can help you with anything, but you insist that you are browsing and not looking to purchase anything. 15 minutes later, and somehow you ended up at the cash register. You know you shouldn’t be buying anything, but let’s be honest, that mint green necklace with matching earrings is going to look amazing on you. You convince yourself to go through with the purchase as the saleswoman speaks up, “That’ll be $21.92, please.” You swipe your card and run out of the store before you decide to buy something else.
You can’t help but stop in at that bookstore you passed earlier, because the sale they are having is just too good to pass up. Instead of buying 1 journal, you buy 3, and of course you had to buy new journaling pens, as well as 2 books that were 40% off.
You tell yourself that it’s okay to splurge once in awhile. You tell yourself that everything you bought was justifiable. And then a couple days later the cycle somehow repeats itself over and over and over again.I bet you’ve been there…buying things because you convince yourself you deserve it, or that you really need it, or that it’s a such a good deal you couldn’t possibly pass it up. Or you’ve been trying really hard to save for a new car or that trip to Europe you’ve always wanted to take, but somehow things break and unexpected hardships emerge that require money to fix and before you know it you have less money than when you started.
I myself am a full-time working graduate student who is constantly stressing over her finances. I worry that I won’t be able to pay off my loans as quickly as I want to. I worry that my peers are more financially secure than I am. I worry about what people would think about me if they knew how much money I made. I worry about how I’m going to pay for all the things I want, to make my life luxurious and comfortable. Honestly,I worry about my finances more than I worry about anything else.
It wasn’t until recently, when my summer employment plans A, B, and C all fell through at once, that I realized thatthe thing I worry about the most is the thing that I almost never pray about.
I stress about finances. I obsess over finances. I worry about finances. However, I never pray about finances. And I certainly never have thanked God for my finances, that is, until now.
You’re probably asking yourself, how could that be? I’ll tell you how: I was treasuring money more than I was treasuring God and I was picking and choosing what I was willing to trust God with.
As I realized this there were a few red flags going off in my mind. The first was that I trust God with the salvation of my soul, but I don’t trust God with my money that only holds value in this world that will surely wither away. The second was that money was more precious to me than a God who loves me, makes sacrifices for me, provides for me, protects me, cares for me, comforts me, desires to know me, and paid the ultimate price for me. The third was that I was putting my identity and my worth in money, instead of putting it in the cross.
As I was realizing all of these things, I stumbled upon Luke 12:32-34 (ESV):
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
God calls us not to worry, but to instead have faith that the Creator of the Universe loves and knows what we ultimately need. In fact, He loves us so much that it pleases him to give us the kingdom, His Kingdom.
I read this verse and asked myself, “Is my treasure money or the Lord? When it comes down to it, what is more important? Do I want the desires of my heart to reflect the things of this world or the Kingdom of God?”
It is so easy to allow your treasure to be money or materialistic possessions. The world tells us that is the treasure we should be after, but the true treasure is a relationship with Jesus Christ, and an eternity with Him in the Kingdom. The true treasure is a loving God who knows your every need and will provide for those who have faith and believe. It is a God who cares about you enough to humble you and point you in the right direction, when worldly things, like money, are blurring your vision.
The inner essence of worship is the treasuring of God as infinitely valuable above everything.