“But as for me, how good it is to be near God!” (Ps. 73:28)
It is so easy to get caught up in the pursuits of everyday life and begin to believe that life would be so much better if I only had this job or this home or this car or this relationship. We even sometimes think that if I could only be involved in this ministry or that church our lives would be fulfilled and all would be well. Strange, if you are fortunate enough to obtain your pursuits, you find that in the end; you still somehow think you need more. It seems indigenous to human nature that we are never satisfied and always have to have newer, bigger, and better stuff. While our stuff may not be evil in and of itself, the danger lies in the value we ascribe to it. Our stuff, more often than not, becomes an idol by which we define ourselves: More stuff and life is good. Less stuff and life is not so good.
For the Christian, life is not measured by the amount of things we acquire, but rather by the intimacy we enjoy with God. To those who are in Jesus, who daily drink of his Spirit; stuff takes a back seat and cannot begin to compare with the surpassing pleasure of his company. As we learn more of him, we begin to find that he is all we truly need, and that stuff or the lack thereof is not as important as we may have thought. Stuff can’t save you. It can’t heal or deliver you. A life based on stuff has to have more stuff to be a good life. But the reality is that it is God’s presence in your life that can truly make your life good.
I think of the Apostle Paul, and the fact that when he wrote the words, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” he was sitting in prison with NO STUFF! Now, I bet you Paul would rather have not been in prison, but when you read the book of Philippians; you find that the quality of his life was not defined by anything other than his relationship with Jesus. In fact, he said, “I’ve given up all my stuff that I may know Christ.” (Phil. 3:8 My Translation) The nearness of God was Paul’s good, and it remained so in spite of the context in which he found himself.
Here in America we are constantly being told that we must have more stuff if we are to “live the good life.” Not true! If you want to live the good life, if you want the good stuff; come, make Jesus your everything and he will be the good in your life.