The shoes do not make the man, the car doesn’t make the man, and your house does not define you. People of the world say those things, but they are not true. They think like that because they don’t believe God. So they Covet. God makes the man! It is true that you should make an effort to look and be your best. God wants us to pursue excellence – in everything. But if you are Led by what you see – you are an Unbeliever. If you’ve gotta have the big house or the new car before you give God the Glory, then you are Discontent. Just because someone has a lot of stuff doesn’t mean they have an important life.
So many people have lived their lives in pursuit of something they thought they had to have, that they couldn’t even taste the good life they were already living. They ran so fast to get where they were going, they missed all the lovely and amazing that was right in front of them. God put it there to be enjoyed. When we covet, we sin with ourself and we sin inside ourself. So that in one sense, nobody else can see it, because it is in our inner man. Covetousness is the greedy desire to Get. Anything. The question should never be about what I want. Instead, we should ask ourselves ‘if I am truly in Christ, can I rejoice right here. Can I be thankful to God no matter where I’m at, no matter what’s going on in my life, regardless of circumstances.’ That’s the real test, and it’s a life long one.
The difficulties don’t begin when your ship comes in. You have to pass a lot of tests just to get your ship to come in. It starts right here, right now. Right where you’re at. A refusal to pass the test or to even take it isn’t actually an option – it’s just the terrorist of your fallen nature showing. It insists that I get my way before I praise God. As though I can blackmail the Creator of the universe by being self centered and unthankful – until I get mine. It is the way of all flesh, but it doesn’t have to be your way. You don’t have to be carnally minded. You can keep your mind on spiritual things. Things like contentment.
Contentment is something more than just putting up with where you’re at, or refusing to complain about what you have. Contentment means I know my Redeemer lives! He is my Provider, and He will take care of me, and until everything He has for me shows up – these things [right here] don’t move me. You and I will have to hold fast to this position all of our life. My desires do not define me – His Word does. All of my circumstances good or bad, are not in any way sufficient for me. He is my Sufficiency! He is the over and above, more than enough God. Not just for the future, for right now.
The right now is where we get to practice believing that. Instead of believing what we see or feel, because we need a lot of practice. Here is the very place of my death to Self, and the birth of my becoming a Son. Dead to Self – alive to Christ, remember. A true Son is content, not with where he’s at – but in who the Father is. Part of God’s provision through what Christ did on the Cross is contentment, and it is for us right now. Godliness with contentment is great gain. If you can’t be content right now before you get the big house and nice car, you won’t be content after. Jesus said a man’s life does not consist of the things he possesses.
Money is a form of Power, but it’s the lowest form of power in the earth. It is not important to God – He owns all the silver and the gold. But He knows it’s important to us. In a sense it is just a symbol, but it’s got our energy and effort, our blood sweat and tears wrapped up in it. Which is what makes it precious to us, and therefore makes it precious to God. If you desire something it’s because you Value it. You have a level of respect and reverence for anything you desire. Because desire is related to worship. It is in fact worship on a lower level. God is the one who gave us desires and He wants us to have them. If we take our proper place as sons – our deepest desire will be for Him.
This highest reverence we possess is the thing we’re supposed to have for God, the thing we’re supposed to give Him. Left to ourselves we don’t give it to Him. Because even though it is in us – it’s not in us for Him. That heart posture came with the Fall, and like all other corruption – must be changed into the Image of His dear Son. Covetousness is that greedy desire to get, which is what we do have instead of a strong desire for Him. You just may not recognize it until you’re in the middle of it, or it’s in the middle of you. Anything you desire intensely is something you Covet.
The Bible does not say not to covet absolutely, it says not to covet certain things. It actually tells us to Covet the Lord and His Things. What we have to realize is that we covet. All that remains is to shift our Covetousness from the world of men to the things of God. It will take a lifetime. The greater the reverence we have for the Holy Spirit, the more we desire Him, the more He will show up in our meetings and in our lives. Ask the Lord to help you reverence Him, to want Him more than you do already. Make it your Prayer that He causes your strongest desires, your deepest longing . . . to all be for Him.
There is a strong similarity in praying to a statue and caring more about money and stuff than you do about God. The Bible calls it Idolatry. Covetousness is Idolatry. That means you have something in the place that only God should have. What so many fail to realize is that everything down here is like a gallon of milk – it has an expiration date on it. It’s only good for a little while to do something with. If you don’t do something with it in the short time you have it, it won’t matter. Your having had it will have meant nothing. Don’t stockpile things or money – put them to use. Use them to get people for the Kingdom. How much you had of anything won’t even be known in the next life. What you did with it will be known, by everybody. And it will be known forever. Don’t just be rich in this world – be rich in God.
This is not the only life we are going to have. We must get over the lie that if I don’t find satisfaction in this life, if I don’t make myself happy – I will never be fulfilled. I won’t get another chance, so I have to do it now. It’s a Lie. Did you notice the Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time or space talking about our happiness, or our being happy. You can obey the Bible and be happy. Although obedience is much more important than happiness, especially for the life to come. As it is the very thing required on our part, to make it to the next life. Which is the only Life . . that matters.
Christ is supposed to be our Life. There are many beautiful homes and lovely neighborhoods but the very best place in the world to live – is in the Will of God. Do not build your life on the level of credit cards, automobiles and houses. Don’t. The physical realm is the lowest level to build your life on – and it is all going away. In the world that’s coming there is a Highway called Holiness, and there will not be a single boat plane car or truck on it. We will travel on it, all of us. And only the Redeemed can travel it. You and I will be there. You’ll be in your glorified body and you’ll like it. It’ll be Good. In just a few days it won’t matter how much money you made, what you owned, or how important you were. All that will matter is . . . do you love Jesus.
Full Grown Ministry