The Pursuit of God – Chapter 2

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

Aim: The path to a higher relationship with God always goes through the valley of removing the roots of “my” and “mine” : “possession of things” – God will not share His “tent of meeting” in my heart with “things”

I. Original Intent: God over man over things, God inside man, things outside man

  • God created all things for man
  • “Things” are gifts for man from God for use/service
  • In man’s heart God put a shrine (tent of meeting)
  • God within, gifts outside
  • In sin, man brings gifts inside moving God outside
  • Substituting gifts for God = source of woe
  • Substituting gifts for God = lack of peace because it upsets balance
  • This is not a metaphor – it is a real Spiritual Problem!
  • Human heart is bound up / twisted in the roots of possessions
  • “my” and “mine” = real nature of the fall of man
  • To “need things” was never the original intent
  • Proper order is God over man over things
  • In sin man puts things over other men and over God = all of nature is upset and out of balance

 

II. The Tyranny of Things: becoming “poor in spirit” is to become a garden plot free of weeds

  • Luke 9:23-24
  • Within us is an enemy: Self-Life
  • Self-Life’s chief characteristic is possession
  • To allow self-life to live and thrive costs everything for all eternity
  • To give up self life costs nothing and gains everything forever
  • Path to God is through valley, digging out the deep roots of Self-Life
  • Our spirit is a garden plot
  • Tearing out Self-Life makes plot appear “poor in spirit” to the world, BUT
  • Tearing out weeds = ready for God to plant fruit trues
  • Free from all sense of possessing = possess All things (the things of the Almighty)
  • Take this seriously, this is not bible trivia, it is the critical sign post on the desert path.

 

III. Abraham and Isaac: tested; wholly surrendered

  • Abraham was old enough to be Isaac’s great-grandfather
  • This baby represented everything sacred to Abraham’s heart:
    • Promises of God – The covenants
    • Hopes of the years
    • Messianic dream
  • Was Abraham’s hope and trust in his son or in God
  • In obedience, Abraham tore roots of trust and hope from his son and planted them in God
  • Through obedient faith, Abraham was blessed
  • When God stopped Abraham from killing Isaac: Abraham stood strong, pure and grand because he was wholly surrendered, fully obedient and possessed nothing
  • God could have work from outside in, but chose to go directly to Abraham’s heart
  • After – Abraham possessed nothing
  • Everything he “owned” before was still his to enjoy and use
  • “My” and “Mine” were gone from Abraham’s heart – all belonged to God

 

IV. 4 guides to removing sin of possession

  • Possessive clinging to things = one of most harmful habits
  • So prevalent, not recognized as evil
  • Hesitant to give to God out of fear, especially when the “things” are “loved ones”
  • But, what is given to God is safe while what is held back is at risk
  • Gifts and talents are not ours to possess, they are loaned from God
  • All maturing Christians will recognize this sin in their own hearts
  • What to do?
  1. Remove defenses, justifications and excuses
    1. Trample the deceit of a sinful heart – This enemy will lie to you for its gain, not for your good
  2. Remember this is “holy business”
    1. Come to God in full determination
    2. Insist that God take all “things” (even people) that you have in your tent of meeting
    3. Be specific – name names
    4. Lance the wound, don’t coddle the infection
  3. This truth cannot be learned only experienced
    1. Knowing Abraham’s example does not change the requirement for me to offer the same obedient submission to God
  4. This ancient curse will not simply fade away or lie down to die
    1. It must be yanked out by the roots not just trimmed back
    2. It will be painful
    3. It must be forcefully removed
      1. Example: Christ extracting the money changers from the temple
    4. When the roots of Self-Life are torn out they will spray an infection of “self-pity” in defense
      1. Reject this as a poison, it is a reprehensible sin

 

V. All Christians will face this test

  • The path to a deeper relationship with God ALWAYS brings a believer to this test
  • (even Jesus faced this test in the garden)
  • At the time, Abraham did not know it was a test
  • We, too, will face the test and may never know when we are facing it
  • When faced there will not be a dozen choices, only 2 choices
  • Whole future is conditioned on that choice
  • Prepare your spirit to make the right choice through God’s strength and love

 

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3 thoughts on “The Pursuit of God – Chapter 2

  1. Liked your study on Tozar. Will you be completing the book? I’ve been reading along with you and writing your comments in my book. Now that Moses starts again, will it be awhile? No Homiletics for Admin this week!

    • Yes – commitments with family and work have made it a slower process than I expected, but I’m really getting a lot out of the book and will be continuing it. Thank you for your kind comments and for following along. God bless!

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