With the extra time available to me not having to work due to the Christmas holiday I have had some great time to do things such as read. So I opened up “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer, the chapter I am on is titled “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing” . “Ah oh” I thought to myself, “this isn’t going to be fun”, which traditionally in these types of matters means, “this will be good for me”. Tozer starts out that before sin God gave Adam all sorts of gifts, and it was good, but now, in the post-fallen world these “things” can cause problems. We cling to them. The words me and mine “are verbal symptoms of our deep disease”. I find it interesting that it is now the day after Christmas, where we rejoice because of the piles of things we have just received. Today, definitely doesn’t help to cure this disease. Just as God’s gifts to Adam were blessings, having things/gifts isn’t bad, the problem comes when we try to possess these things.
I was watching one of Christmas gifts and on it Jerry Seinfield said in one of his interspersed standup bits that he has had stuff stolen from his apartment several times. The first time was the worse, a “they took my stuff” attitude. But after that you don’t even bother calling the cops about it. I think we have to get to that point. Abraham had to learn that lesson a very hard way, he had to be willing to sacrifice his son in order to obey God. Afterwards Isaac was safe and Abraham had a wife, a son, sheep, camels, and descendants as numerous as the stars. “He had everything,
but he possessed nothing.” Everything we have is on loan from God. Tozer has a great suggestion for when his readers begin to examine themselves on this issue, I think it’s a great suggestion for whenever we examine anything before God: we “should put away all defense” and not resort to excuses. That really hit home for me, because I immediately want to make defenses when being confronted.
I think a former pastor of mine, expressed the attitude our hearts need to have in regards to stuff very well when he said something along the lines: we need to let things rest in the palm of our hands, making them easy to remove not trying to hold them tightly with our fingers clinched around them. Then it won’t be so bad if they are taken away, at least they weren’t ripped out of our hands and heart.