As Christians, we live in a world that flows directly opposite of how we are called to live for Christ. This world is full of "every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, hatred, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice, gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful people" (Romans 1:29-30). Therefore, the spirit of this world creates hardships for those who make the choice to travel the straight and narrow path. This path goes in the opposite direction of the path devised by the spirit of this world. In fact, those who serve the spirit of this world "invent new forms of evil, disobey their parents, and are senseless, faithless, heartless, and merciless" (Romans 1:31). Hence, the unsaved of this world have an altogether different idea of what they should value or treasure as compared to what a Christian should. Jesus tells us, "Watch out! Guard yourselves against every form of greed, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15). "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21).
The spirit of this world is like a strong magnet and if we do not keep our focus on heaven, we can find ourselves pulled into the prevailing flow of this world. Regrettably, many born-again Christians are guilty of chasing their dreams in this world and in doing so compromise their walk with the Lord. The Apostle Paul wrote, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do." (Romans 7:15). Consequently, a life focused on this world can easily desensitize believers and quench the Spirit to the point they no longer even desire to live for the Lord. They end up chasing the things of this world such as self-centeredness, fame, wealth, and many other worldly pleasures. It is important to understand that the adversary (Satan and his countless followers) are always at work in their attempts to neutralize a Christians walk with Christ. Thus, things such as desires of the flesh, gaining fame, gaining wealth, etc. are prominent ploys of the devil.
The Lord took a strong stand against storing up treasures in this world as He made His plea for us to store up treasures in heaven. Jesus taught, "The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundance. So, he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?' Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. Then I will say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?' This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21).
Many false teachers, either knowingly or unknowingly, are Satan's pawns. They are the wolves in sheep's clothing Jesus spoke about. They will argue that God wants Christians to gain great fame and wealth here on earth teaching that we should enjoy all the riches of this world as God’s heirs. We who are the true children of God must turn away from a desire for worldly treasures and be alert to the ploys of the adversary. Our riches come from above and all of our needs will be tended to by our Lord if we seek His kingdom above all else. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes” (Luke 12:22-23). “And do not be concerned about what you will eat or drink. Do not worry about it. For the nations of the world strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added unto you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves with purses that will not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Luke 12:29-34).
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