Think About This: “It was with good reason that God commanded through Moses that the vineyard and harvest were not to be gleaned to the last grape or grain; but something to be left for the poor. For covetousness is never to be satisfied; the more it has, the more it wants. Such insatiable ones injure themselves, and transforms God’s blessings into evil.” – Martin Luther
I Want It But I Can’t Have It – Part 3
Posted on September 20, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” – Mark 7:20-23 (NKJV)
“You can have whatever you want, if you only make the effort.” This might be a good slogan on one of those self-helping, positive thinking TV shows that are out there. It may not be a bad one, BUT it only tells half the story (kinda like the prosperity gospel, sorry, had to say it). If you’re hip-deep into your own self, then you gotta add the “by any means necessary” part that will complete the slogan if you have taken God out of the provision of effort. The people that give us this self-help nonsense more than likely are extremely secular, worship their own success, and get their confidence under their own strength.
Sounds like something I want no part of, but I digress, because I ain’t as holy as I think I am. I too, have a quest for stuff and, at times, it looks as if I have re-assimilated back into the world in order to achieve those things that I desire. But that’s pretense to what Jesus says in Mark 7:20-23, it isn’t being in the world that’s defiling its being of the world that’s defiling. If you want an example on how that goes that go back into Genesis, then take a look at Lot. First, it was the greener grass and the next thing you know, his wife is a pillar of salt. It gets worse from there but I would say that Lot is the finest example of what it looks like when desire goes the distance.
If you ever want to see what the fruit of covetousness looks like, you’ll find it in someone who is just NEVER happy with anything they have. You now this person, it could be a brand-new car but they didn’t detail it with the right kinda wax; or the Monday morning quarterback who’s team won the night before, BUT if he were the head coach, he woulda called a blitz defense instead of playing a softer zone defense. So, the opposing team knew who was the better team. The question I’m left with after all this digging into covetousness is, “What can be done to rewire our thinking?”
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.” – Isaiah 1:16-17
Recognizing that the human race has an unstable and an insatiable nature is the first thing we should do. Ecclesiastes 1:8 says, “All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.” Happiness may be the fruit of true spiritually but understand that God hasn’t given power in material stuff to make men spiritually happy. And speaking of God, maybe seeking Him first is a good idea. Paul gives us this from Colossians 3:1-2, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Amen?
This may strike you as funny but don’t hate stuff, hate covetousness. “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear Is a wicked ruler over poor people. A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days.” (Proverbs 28:15-16) If God’s Word says that for a king, imagine how that will work out for you. How about being someone who just gives it all away? Overcoming the fear that you’ll already lose what you have is by giving it away. It’s truly vexing, I know, but the apostle Paul told the church in Corinth, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
If Jesus has redeemed you from the power that motivates you to be covetous, then learn thoroughly what grace teaches you. I’m thinking the best way to end this is with these words from Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Find your deliverance in that. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22