Imagine living your entire life in a small mud hut with a grass roof and a dirt floor. Then one day, a man comes to you and says he wants to give you the best house in the world. You think about it for a minute and say, “You mean, a hut with a real floor, like my friend Joe has?” The man laughs and says, “No. I said the best house in the world. Much better than what Joe has.” Allowing yourself to dream of something even better, you say, “Surely you don’t mean a house with walls of wood? I’ve heard of houses like that, but I could never imagine living in a house like that.” The man laughs hysterically and says, “You’re still limiting your thinking. I’m going to give you a house that is better than anything you could even imagine!”
God wants to give us more than we can even ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Unfortunately, we keep trying to trade the future spiritual blessings of God for the immediate physical comforts of this world.
Esau Needed to Desire More
In the book of Genesis we read how Esau gave away his future blessings for a measly bowl of soup. He reasoned, what good are the promises of the future when I’m hungry right now? Using our earlier analogy, Esau gave up whatever mansion he could have had because all he desired was a slightly better hut.
Israel Needed to Desire More
When the Israelites came out of Egypt, all they could think about was the fact that they were hungry. God kept telling them, “I’m giving your own nation.” But, they were so focused on their desire to eat, they almost went back to Egypt and the bonds of slavery. Eventually, they did go back to slavery (Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Roman), because they desired immediate gratification more than they desired the promises of the future. They traded whatever mansion they could have had because they only desired a slightly better hut.
Christians Need to Desire More
Jesus came to change our focus. He came to set our desires on something better. He said, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.” (John 6:27). And He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
But still we struggle. We get so caught up in this physical world. Jesus asks us, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul” (Mark 8:36)? Why are we even tempted to trade the mansion He has promised for a slightly better hut? Because we need to desire more.
Christians Need to Desire More than Stuff
We are so consumed with stuff! Many Christians are trading their eternal home in heaven for the mortgage on their hut! Their trading their mansion in glory for their cars, their cell phones, their computers, their designer clothes, and on and on and on! Jesus says this, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Matthew 6:25)? When you hunger for stuff, you’re not hungry for things that are better – things that are spiritual!
Desire better things than physical things. Seek better things. Jesus said that the worldly minded seek after physical things, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:32-33).
Christians Need to Desire More than Physical Health
Surely we all want to feel well. When we hurt, it’s hard to think of anything but the pain. But there is so much more to life than just being healthy and well. This body is temporary and we need to desire more than just physical health.
I want to live as long as possible on this earth to be of useful service to my King. But I’m under no illusions about my body. I understand that someday it is going to become ill or injured and it will cease working. But, that doesn’t bother me in the least! When this body is gone, I get to go on to my reward! Paul had this confidence when he wrote, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
If I get sick, pray for me. But please don’t worry about me. Getting sick is inevitable. Dying is inevitable. I will not spend too much time thinking about my body – my dirt floor hut – because I have a mansion waiting for me in heaven!
Christians Need to Desire More than Entertainment
We have become such an entertainment-driven people. And I’m not talking about “worship,” which also reflects this fact. I’m talking about the unbelievable amount of time we spend in front of the television, at concerts, at sporting events, etc.
Do we not realize time is short? Do we not realize there are much more important things than games on facebook, angry birds, who got kicked off the island, and who has the best singing voice in the world?!
Now, I enjoy a little down time watching Duck Dynasty as much as the next guy, but let’s stop getting carried away! Some of us are trading the eternal rest of heaven for a little bit of rest on earth. We are to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Did you catch that? God wants us to be “immovable,” and not immovable from our spot in the easy chair, immovable from our “work” and our “labor.”
Our desire needs to be of such intensity that we don’t sit still for long. We need to desire spiritual things so intensely that we loathe laziness in ourselves. I beg you, don’t trade the blessings of God for the mind-numbing antics of reality television!
There is much more that could be said, but I have already said too much. Let me close with this thought, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
I love you and God loves you,