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We must root out of our hearts all things and all sense of possessing. We can no longer be slaves to the tyranny of things.
The word that I believe God is placing on my heart today is from First John:
Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—these do not come from the Father but are from the world.
(1 John 2:15-17)
God created things—useful and pleasant—for us before He made us on earth. He made things for our sustenance and delight—for our uses. These things were meant only to be external and subservient to man.

In the deep heart of man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to live, not the things we have possessed.

Sin brought complications making these gifts a source of ruin for the soul. God was forced out of His shrine and things were allowed to enter. The nature of man is now to covet things—to possess all that we can.

In fact, man covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The roots of our hearts have grown down deep into things and we dare not pull them up or we die. Things have become necessary to us. God's gifts now take the place of God Himself. Our enemy, which we tolerate, is life and self...our "self life."

Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25, "If any man desires to be my disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." The only way to destroy this foe is by the cross. Take up our cross and follow HIM.

In Tozer's wonderful sermon, "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing," he said, "The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty—the abnegation of all things."

We must root out of our hearts all things and all sense of possessing. We can no longer be slaves to the tyranny of things. This has only happened through the surrender of self. This teaching is a marker on our journey to higher mountains. We cannot bypass this in our pursuit of God.

A great historical example of God's love in rooting out things is given in the account of Abraham in Genesis 22. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. He became the delight and idol of his heart.

Actually, we may be so bold as to assume that he became a love slave of his son. Can you imagine begging for a child for all those years and finally the promise is fulfilled? Before you criticize Abraham, put yourself in his shoes.

This fulfillment of a son was almost more than his heart could contain. Finally, he would have an heir to fulfill God's covenanted promise. Isaac represented everything sacred to this Father's heart and soon this much-loved son began to take God's place in the shrine built for God alone.

God stepped in to save them both from the consequences of an uncleansed love. God then required of him to give up Isaac. We are spared the agony of that night as Abraham perhaps wrestled for hours in his very own Gethsemane.

God only wanted to remove Isaac from the temple of his heart so that God alone would reign unchallenged there.

Of course, we know the end of the account. God intervenes and gives Isaac back. God now knows that in the course of Abraham's life, that He alone has first place. The secret in Abraham's life now became this very important point; "he had everything but possessed nothing" (Tozer).

My word to you is that Jesus came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him and nothing is safe that is not committed to Him. It is as Tozer put it—the blessedness of possessing nothing.

Nothing has my heart—no things, ideas, concepts, and treasures—only the treasure of his love and presence. I am not against "things"; in fact, I belive God wants to bless us with many blessings and material possessions. He doesn't, however, want our heart wrapped up in our possessions. Our hearts belong to Him and Him alone.

My challenge to you today, my friends, is to ask God what are the hidden treasures of your heart. You will be surprised as the Holy Spirit begins to highlight those areas that have challenged God's presence.

As He illumines these areas, obey the Spirit's prompting and confess your sin and ask the Father to set you free from this treasure. Today, pick up your cross and follow only him.

Copyright © Julaine Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Julaine Christensen
Web site: Julaine International Ministries
 
At the age of 26, Julaine gave her life to Christ in Washington, D.C., while working as a legislative aide on Capital Hill. Since then she has followed Him diligently. While moving about the country, she taught high school English and Bible for 18 years. In March of 1992, in obedience to the call of God, Julaine was licensed by the Assemblies of God and then in April of 1998, she was ordained. Throughout all this time, key philosophies were being developed in her life.
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