Materialism Clouds Our Minds and Wills
"Beware lest you . . . fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked." -2 Peter 3:17, emphasis added
What happens when our minds are clouded with materialism? Our Bibles become closed! This ought to warn us to be more alert to guard our heart and live more maturely.
Materialism clouds our minds. If you are not careful, you won't make time for God's Word. One classic example is the impact of a television set on your stewardship of time and resources. After wasting time watching TV for hours, you must then deprogram your mind because it deadens you to God's Word. Have you ever had precious fellowship in prayer and communing with God after watching TV for three or four hours? Inviting the world into our living rooms via TV night after night simply will not enhance that type of worship. What I find in my own life is that after I spend time watching TV, I have to read the Bible to warm up my heart again.
What did Christ teach? He told us to be content. And Paul said that godliness with contentment is great gain. So be careful to not invest in the mammon of unrighteousness. Jesus warned of this happening in the Laodicean church age: "Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:17). That church represents the age in which we now live. Churches have every piece of equipment, gadgets, investment programs, online services, programs-and closed Bibles.
Materialism clouds our wills. Instead of collecting and holding on to things here on earth, Peter says that we are to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). This ought to encourage us to grow spiritually and to live growingly.
So then, why should we avoid possessiveness and covetousness? Because that way of life will cloud our minds, clutter our lives, and keep our eyes from looking for Jesus' return. It will close the Book and distract our will from obeying Christ! Look at what a pastor from Chicago, A. W. Tozer, wrote about fifty years ago: "The man of pseudo-faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in. What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day."
As Tozer has just pointed out, most of us recognize that God says that He-the One who faithfully clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds-is to be trusted. We even say that we believe that, but, "just in case," we have a backup plan of our own. There needs to be a balance here: we are supposed to be prudent, and care for our family, but if we are trusting in material things to care for our family, then we are not trusting God.
I once met an elderly farmer in South Carolina who lived at the time when the Emergency Banking Bill of 1933 led to confiscating all gold from American citizens. He had a beautiful farm with six hundred acres. He sold it, received payment in gold, and deposited the gold in the bank-on the very day the law was passed! That law allowed the government to wipe out gold accounts. And every time he drove by that farm, he thought about the moment that everything his family had accumulated for years was literally destroyed.
That day is going to come again. The Scriptures say that there is going to be a cataclysmic change. So don't put all of your treasures on earth; invest in heaven instead. Christ is looking for a group of people who are willing to trust Him as much today as they are going to have to at the end! Are you a member of that group?
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