Read Matthew 6:19-24.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." NIV
I understand the beginning of this passage - working for things of this world is not where our focus should be. "Stuff" here will be gone. It's not that I can't have stuff, but my heart needs to be focused on the will and direction of my Lord and Master.
And I understand the last paragraph -- there can be only one master of my life. Two beings or things giving instruction will often contradict. God desires to be the one and only. In fact, He states it very clearly in Commandment #1 - "You shall have no other gods before me."
But that middle paragraph had me a little confused. What does my eye and light and darkness have to do with anything? After some research, everything is much clearer, hmmmm, which is sort of what it's talking about, clarity. The Greeks would have understood that having good eyes means to see things clearly and completely focused. And with good eyes you walk in light -- seeing all things clearly with a strong purpose. Whereas darkness is clouded and without focus.
If we keep our eyes focused on God and His purposes; if we follow His precepts; if we remain in this world and not of this world, our eyes will be filled with light and not darkness. I have many people ask me how to keep sin out of their lives and not become mastered by it. Here's the answer. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Simple sentence but the enemy makes it a difficult task. Only by focusing our will on the Father and glorifying Him can we keep from satisfying the lusts of the world.
Sometimes I wish I'd lived in biblical times or even live in a country now where people have very little. Well, I wouldn't choose to live in a place where I didn't know where my next meal was coming from. But I would love to live a simpler life. I've many times threatened to get a dumpster and sweep my house clean of all stuff. Just leave me a bed, a chair, and a table, some food, and a few changes of clothing and I'd be happy. (Yes, if I was Catholic being a nun may have been appealing.) Getting rid of all that stuff is so freeing. I wouldn't have to dust, wash, mend, repair, make payments on, store, or file anything. How freeing would that be?
But that's not where I live. Therefore, I must discipline my mind to not get caught up in the "stuff" society I live in and let the Joneses out do me. I will own things without them owning me. I will continue to give things away to keep my life as uncluttered as possible. I will not allow my "things" to master my life, but serve only one Master. I'm not made for this world, but for one coming where stuff has no meaning. For now, I will do the Lord's will, reach out to people, and let the clutter of the world fall around me untouched.
- Is there some thing or things that have taken control of your life other than God? Do you really want to serve that master? Read 2 Peter 2:19b. Find other Scriptures on serving only God.
- A great deal of this has to do with our choices. What choices do you need to make so you are serving one Master and not two or more? Joshua made choices to follow God. Read his farewell to the Israelite leaders in Joshua 23:1-24:27.
- How can time become your master? What can you do to keep that from happening?
- Are there some changes you need to make in your life pattern/habits to choose God as your only Master? Ask the Lord to help you and write down your plan for change.