High Definition Escape
Rachel Olsen

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (NASB)

I sat at a full table in a coffee shop, talking through an upcoming sermon series on stewardship with my pastor. I always enjoy these meetings - brainstorming and researching various sermon ideas - but this particular topic was making me uncomfortable. We talked through issues of money... giving...being generous...tithing...debt...being faithful in the little things...and trusting God. But the whole time I kept thinking about the 42” big screen LCD high-definition TV that I want. I’d been researching it, and desiring it, steadfastly for the last two weeks. It’s a lot of TV, and a lot of money.

Do you ever get a particular item you want stuck in your head? A certain car? A brand name purse? A larger house? A piece of jewelry? Or the latest cool gadget? I think we all do from time to time, imagining how great life would be if we could just posses that thing.

As my pastor was talking about how we need to trust God for the things we need, I blurted out, “I have no problem trusting God for my needs. I know He’ll supply everything I need....food, water, shelter. It’s my wants that are the problem... I’m not so sure He’ll give all those to me, and that’s the rub. How do I handle my wants?” I was hoping he’d give me some sage advice but my pastor replied, “So what’s the answer?” “I don’t know the answer,” I said plainly, wishing I did. Then he challenged us with this question, “What would it look like to want appropriately?”

I’d always thought all my wants should be appropriate wants... and I’ve always known they weren’t all appropriate. Sure I want a cure for AIDS, world peace, and all my neighbors to know Christ - but I also want a cute pair of red flats, a pill that makes cleaning seem like fun, and this big screen TV. There in the coffee shop it occurred to me that maybe I should shift my goal from having all appropriate wants – after all, I’m not sure I can achieve that, or that I can even define what wants are OK and which aren’t - to learning how to handle my wants appropriately.

I had to ask myself, why do I want this TV so badly? I decided it wasn’t to impress the neighbors; most of them would never even see it. I knew it wasn’t pressure to have the latest and greatest technology. I was the last of my friends to get call waiting and the last to get a cell phone ... and I didn’t care that I was the last. I drive a 7 year old mini-van, no automatic closing doors here, and I still have a basic cell phone, no email or internet on my phone. Then I asked myself, when did the desire for this TV begin? This made me realize the correlation between my travel schedule and my newfound lust for large TVs.

I’ve been traveling a lot lately. Since April I’ve had a trip to take about every two weeks. My next trip – all the way out of the country to South America – is just two weeks away from now. And so I find myself longing for time spent at home with absolutely nothing pressing to do. I want to watch the Travel Channel, and stop living it for a moment. I desired some escape, plain and simple, and TV is a handy way to escape so I figured a large, high-definition TV would help me do that.

So my bottom line was I was after some refreshing escape from the pressures of my life. That’s not an unreasonable want, really, but perhaps my method for achieving it was suspect. I was putting my heart into an earthly treasure, rather than into God’s hands.

What if I could retrain my thoughts to think of time spent with God as my escape from the world’s demands?

· Surely refreshment can be found in the living God more so than in moving pictures on a screen.
· That big screen might be large, but not as large as the One who rules my world.
· It might be high-definition, but not nearly as true-to-life as the love Jesus has displayed for me. · It may have surround sound, but it can’t touch the sound of the angels in heaven crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.”

As I thought all this through, my desire for that TV had less of a grip on me. I’ve decided to put off the purchase while I practice escaping into the presence of God, and asking Him to teach me how to want appropriately.

Dear Lord, forgive me for fixing my heart on earth’s treasures rather than the eternal treasures You provide. Help me to rightly handle my wants and to steward all that You have given me. Teach me to want appropriately. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Sponsor a child in need through Compassion International

God’s Purpose for Every Woman, Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen, General Editors

A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

Application Steps:
In your journal, write about something you’ve been longing to have. Answer the reflection questions below.

When did I begin wanting this thing and what are my motives?

What do I think it will bring me?

What does God say about it?

Power Verses:
1 Timothy 6:6, “A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.” (GWT)

Matthew 6:20, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” (NASB)

Labels: , ,


Blogger Christine Smith said...

wonderful post. here's a possible rememdy/answer to handling our wants. Prayer that our hearts would only ever want Jesus. Not my idea -- gleaned from a recent read: Sister Freaks by Rebecca St James et al

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes this was a wonderfull post. for some time i have been asking god for some wants. shoes, clothes and acessories that many of the women i interact with seem to be always getting. it got me to the point of depression becuase i can't buy these things as often. but i thank god for accessorising my heart. i now have peace, joy and contentment. god is good. i know that he will bless with these things in abundance. i am expectantly waiting on him.

Blogger Kelly said...

This was a devotional post just for me today! I struggle too with wanting so many material things of life like anonymous said.."shoes, clothes, accessories" are my weaknesses too. Along with books, makeup, expensive skincare, etc. I love the phrase "I thank God for accessorising my heart"...I need mine accessorized with the fruit of His spirit, love, joy, peace, etc. And like the other commenter, Christine, said today..I pray that my heart would only ever want Jesus. Our culture is saturated with the latest, the next, the beautiful, all that the eye can see and the pride of life. Help us all to focus on Jesus. As Beth Moore says "Anything in excess leads to emptiness"...especially when we look to 'stuff' to fill us up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want thing for my kids more than for myself, but that can get out of hand too. I don't hold back and spen, I am not teaching them the value of things if I just buy buy buy. I also can be jealous of things that others have. I find I have ahard time being faithful in the little things.

Dear God,
Forgive me for missing 7. I shut my phone off and didn't budge. I missed Grace too. Forgive me for not being faithful in the little things, I pray that you forgive me and I meet you tomorrow morning without feeling tired. Help me not stay up too late. Forgive me for my sharp tongue and impatience. Tank you that you are always faithful like you were with Grace's hives. I can't say enoughhow much I thank you for working a miracle in our daughters body. Lord, help me get my spending under control. (No more ebay) and to put time in with my kids instead of things. Help me to be aptient today as I am with them. Give me a productive day that focuses with you and not on tasks, I have really been bad at that lately. Thank you for loving me even when I fail like this morning. I don't want to miss 7. Thank you for being enthralled with me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to this website and daily devotions and I can't tell you how I feel a relief come over me to find a daily devotion like this! I'm a day behind reading this one, but like others, it's exactly what I need right now. My husband and I are in the middle of making a house change, which has been nothing short of God's timing. It's been stressful and I keep thinking about what I want in the long run and this has made me start to think about why I want it - definitely a want, not a need. Contentment is something I truly struggle with, but the Lord is working on it with me and I'm learning. I praise the Lord today for giving me the abundance of undeserved blessings - 2 beautiful, healthy children, a Godly husband who wants to use his talents for the Lord, a wonderful home (no matter the size!!), the list goes on forever. I pray the Lord continues to push me towards contentment, I yearn for that.

Post a Comment


Site Search
Recent Devotions
Articles About...
Grab our button!