“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
Imagine that you are the firstborn to a royal family that lived in a wealthy country. As the only child and the apple of your father’s eyes, you will inherit the kingdom. All of the money, riches, property, power, and wealth of the family will be passed on to you. Imagine if you had been given extravagant gifts from birth, been afforded a top notch education where you have traveled the world and have learned multiple languages and cultures. The world is at your feet. Over the years, your father has increasingly communicated his love for you with his words and through his actions. If this was your situation, would you steal from your father at any point in your life? Would you slip your mother’s pearls into your pocket without asking for them? Would you meet with your parent’s accountants and lawyers behind their backs? Of course not, that would be quite foolish behavior.
A real life story of this foolish behavior is found in Joshua Chapter 7. Achan’s story will paint an even clearer picture. Joshua and the Israelites were finally on their way to the Promised Land: you know, the land that was flowing with “milk and honey,” the land that was promised to Moses, the land that would produce crops with ease and where they would reap the benefits from labor others had done. They were on their way to that land which was plenteous and wealthy, and all they had to do was obey God. In a battle along the way, God clearly commanded the Israelites not to take any of the plunder. Achan did not obey the Lord, because he wanted his blessing now. His confession to Joshua: “I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel…when I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels (about 5 pounds) of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath (verses 20-21, NIV).” God had already promised Achan and the Israelites the blessings of the Promised Land, but because he was unwilling to wait, Achan took a temporary blessing (that he couldn’t even enjoy) and was not allowed to enter into the promise.
I know that many are reading these scenarios and saying, “I would never do that” or “that would not make sense.” Yet, in so many situations in life, this is the way that we treat our heavenly father, God. We know that he has something better to offer us, but we won’t head his instructions. We prefer temporary blessings that do not last, instead of storing up our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:20).”
Here are some examples of how we store up our earthly treasures instead of storing up treasures in Heaven. God asks us to be free with the blessings that he has given, but we hide our checkbooks and clinch our purses tightly in hopes that he won’t see. We fail to give cheerfully and generously to our local churches. In this way we rob God by holding back the resources required to continue the ministry within our communities. We covet more things, so we buy more wants and give less to others who are in need. The Treasure Principle even applies to the ways that we spend our time. We may say that we don’t have time for prayer, morning devotion, or Bible study, yet we make time for sporting events, our favorite television shows, or to hang out with friends.
The Treasure Principle is not about banging the table and asking you to pay up, rather it is affirming that God has a greater plan and purpose for each of our lives if we would only heed his instruction. “Because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual lives and how we think about and handle money. We may try to divorce our faith and our finances, but God sees them as inseparable (pg 8).” Earthly fortunes may have great earthly value, but the value is only temporary. The Treasure Principle asks you to have a Heavenly focus: invest in the things of God as a means of glorifying (to praise, honor, and thank) him, which is ultimately for your benefit as well. Your Heavenly investments will never perish.
This feels like an introduction to me, so here are a few scriptures for personal devotion:
Joshua 7, Matthew 13: 44-45, Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:32-37, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 12:13-21, Matthew 19:16-30, Matthew 6:19-21, 24.
“What person(s) are you living for? What place are you living for? What possessions are you living for? (pg 16)”
You will also enjoy our previous Natasha’s Study posts:
The Treasure Principle Introduction
She Did What She Could Book Discussion
Timothy Keller’s Counterfeit Gods Book Recommendation
© Natasha L. Robinson 2011