A couple of weeks ago, I would scroll through pictures upon pictures of the latest spring fashion. The more I saw, the more I wanted. I decided that I needed that $17 lavender nail polish because it was so in style this Spring even though I hate the color purple. I even exclaimed to my husband as we were driving home from a date, “I just love shopping. It makes me happy to buy things!” And I can recall telling a friend earlier in the week that dressing up made me feel better when I was having an off day.
Fast forward four days later.
For reasons only God could tell ya, I picked up the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker again after putting it away last year because it was just too much. It’s an “experimental mutiny again excess”. You must read it for yourself but here is a quick review, “Seven months, seven areas, reduced to seven simple choices. I’m embarking on a journey of less. It’s time to purge the junk and pare own to what is necessary, what is noble. 7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through.”
The first month the lady ate only seven item of food for a month. But the next month is what really got me. And it has been ruining me ever since.
Years ago, clothes were my identity. They made me feel worthy, beautiful, & acceptable. I tried my hardest to be perfect. After God brought me back to Himself, I realized that clothing doesn’t define me and so I started giving some away. But I would always withhold the really nice things & gladly give away the things that were not a loss to me because all I had to do was run to the nearest TJ Maxx and restock.
Nowadays, that little voice in the back of my head, aka the Holy Spirit, always tells me to get rid of the mass amount of my clothing every time I walk into my closet. I have always felt like I had too much. But I was too insecure to truly let go. But God hasn’t let up on me about giving away my excess to make more room for Him.
It’s uncomfortable to give my nice belongings away…
to not go out and buy whatever catches my eye…
it’s uncomfortable to believe that Jesus really does mean what He said when He commanded us to not store up treasures here on earth but treasure in Heaven.
That cross is uncomfortable.
Did Jesus ever promise us a life of comfortable, happy-go-lucky, carefree living? NO.
He calls us to LOVE HIM & LOVE OTHERS. He says, “do not love the things of this world”. Simple. Dirty but simple.
It’s simple yet we make it so complicated. Because were selfish people living with selfish ambitions. But Jesus wants us to break that cycle. I want to break that consumerist cycle in me.
My husband and I were talking a couple of days ago about how we want our lives to turn out. We decided that we didn’t want to live a nice, comfortable life where we save up all of our money while doing whatever makes us happy and in the end, have all of our retirement money taken away from greedy children who learned from their greedy parents. (Harsh but realistic). We both know that God has called us to something different. He wants us to live with others at the top of our list. He wants us to live for Him and deny our selves daily. And obsessing over overpriced nail polish for the sake of being up to date with the latest spring fashion isn’t at the top of God’s list.
God has blessed my husband and I immensely. And He has provided financial abundance. He has done this so that we could bless others, give back to Him, help others. He didn’t do it so that I could go out every Thursday and buy a new dress & shoes to add to my collection of earthly treasures.
You may say (like I have said before), “but God wants us to enjoy life…” Yes, He does. He wants us to enjoy His creation, His people, His blessings. Not the world. And frankly, clothing & stuff & fifteen wall hangings stashed away in my guest rooms are worldly & they are simply manmade material items. Items that “moth & rust destroy and thieves break in and steal”. And they further my little selfish kingdom, not God’s everlasting.
God is ruining me.
He is ruining my fleshly self. He is breaking down walls that I have always hidden behind. He is answering the prayer that I have been praying for the past two months, “Create in me a pure heart, O Lord.” He is showing me, with His eyes, what I treasure & what HE treasures.
Slowly but surely, He is ruining me and slowly but surely, I am loving it.
When I meet my Savior face to face, I want Him to look at me with familiar eyes and whisper, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Lovely daughter, you truly loved the people I put in your path, you loved Me.” That lavender nail polish will not matter. Our savings account balance will matter no more. And every outfit that I thought I had to have will be gone forever.
Every soul that I led to Christ, every good deed done in secret & saw by God, every sacrifice to further His Kingdom, it will all be there. Those things will matter.
That gloriously everlasting crown that will be placed on my head will be prettier and shinier than all the most expensive jewelry here on planet earth and my treasure, Jesus Himself, will satisfy every desire and give me worth until the eternity after eternity.