“According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.” (Hosea 13:6)
During my short visit to Cacao beach Florida, as I watched a group of teenage girls bring stacks of apparel to a cashier, each ranging from $25-$60 a piece, it reminded me that in places with more abundance, people tend to forget about God a lot quicker. When people are filled with nothing but the things of this world, they occupy themselves with the pleasures of enjoying them and forget to recognize the God who has provided them with everything.
“Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God…” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14a)
It scared me that even during my trip, I was so caught up with my actual vacation that at times I could see myself slacking in communing with Christ. Such an ungrateful attitude to the God who has provided me with the opportunity to take the time to relax from my work schedule. Many times when I fall into this horrid state, I feel that the things that I do are empty.
Do the things of this world occupy your thoughts and time to the extent that they are the only goals in your mindset? It’s no wonder that countries with more abundance tend to have people who are more spiritually blinded and hard-hearted to the things that are most important. Priorities shift to a self-centered one, and the things of God are nothing more than mystic jabber that has no substantial meaning in their current lifestyle because they refuse to acknowledge that it has any sort of impact to the “here and now”.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
But those who understand the true state of the their being, will come to the realization that no amount of worldly riches, ambitions, goals, recognition, merit, luxuries or abundances can give them lasting happiness. It is the poor in spirit who will see that in order to know true peace and happiness they must throw away their old self-centered humanity and in humility and acceptance of their imperfect selves, have a desire to acknowledge and follow the God who has given them all the things they currently enjoy and who can give them more than they can imagine. And like the chorus below, the things of this world will not be able to outshine the glory and grace you will received in Christ.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Hymn by: Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)