"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
Imagine this: You are in your house cooking when an electrical fire becomes apparent and your kitchen catches fire. You have just enough time to grab a few precious items before its too late. What do you save on your way out of the door?
Have you ever thought about that before? Maybe you have had an experience which have forced you to think about it.
When I was young-probably around the age of eight-there was an incident. My family lived in a split-level house, where the majority of the living areas (kitchen, living room, etc.) were upstairs you could see the next street over from our kitchen window, which overlooked the backyard. On that next street over, some new houses were being built.
One night, being the curious eight-year-old that I was, I got out of bed because I heard my sister and mom talking loudly and enthusiastically in the kitchen. As I headed to the kitchen to see what was up, and against the protests of my mom trying to send me back to bed, the house shook with a loud bang! Trying to push me back down the hallway, my mom tried to shield me from what was apparent through the kitchen window. One of the house frames being built on the next street over had exploded into a burst of flames. It was at that moment that I was 1. extremely grateful that our house, as well as the others surrounding the flaming one, were safe, and 2. that I first thought of escape plans, things to save, etc., if there ever were a fire in my house. I even went so far as to think of how important it was to have a rope ladder stored under my sister’s bed in our bedroom (her’s was closest to the window), so that we could climb out and down to the first level to escape a fire. Needless to say, it freaked me out. It was like a movie explosion, but in real life.
So, what would I save? Over the years, the items have changed from toys, my favorite stuffed animal, electronics, to my bible, pictures of family, and more sentimental items (assuming everyone is out of the house and safe).
My question, though, and something that God has put on my heart lately, is the treasures of our hearts, and what would be deemed important to save in a spiritual fire?
I was reading Matthew 6 the other day and came across this: Verses 19-21:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will also be. ”
Have you ever heard of the commandment, do not worship idols? Or do not put anything or anyone before God? I think this set of verses go hand-in-hand with that commandment. Maybe you place value in an item so much that it becomes a major focus in your life, one that draws attention away from God. I know I have had many things like that. For example, when I first bought my very own IPod when I was in high school, I became obsessed with obtaining as much music as I could, even stuff that I don’t typically listen to, like country (blek!). I borrowed CD’s from friends, the library, bought music. I started following bands, including Christian bands, that I loved so much I knew everything about them. I smashed as much music into my Itunes as possible, having over 10,000 songs in my library. Now, you may think that liking music and a band isn’t all that bad, but it became my focus, instead of in areas where I could be focusing on God, or loving others. It became a distraction, though I valued it as a treasure.
But, the bible talks about treasures that are much more important. We are given a prime example in Galatians 5, verses 22-23, where the bible mentions the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” To me, these are precious treasures from God. They are fruit of the Spirit; signs that God is living within you.
When you have a bad day, or a very trying situation or period in life, and all you want to do is run away, you can always refer to these treasures. They may not be physical, palpable items to hold in our hands, and save from a real fire, but when Satan is trying to burn a hole into our lives with lies, taunts, hate, and more, we can be assured that by holding tight to these items, and saving them from the fire, we can be safe, and home. These items will not only help us through our time here on earth, but will serve witness to God as we enter His kingdom that we not only believe with our acts (loving others, being gentle and showing kindness), but that we believe in our hearts that He is king because we are utilizing the examples Jesus showed us during his life.
As we continue our Christian walks with God, remembering and believing that He sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we could spend eternity in heaven, let us ponder what treasures we have in our hearts, and how we can use those treasures to save ourselves from fire and destruction, and lead a path that is Christ-centered.