Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Have you misplaced your affections and joy into the hands of your idols?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 NKJV
Israel’s Misplaced Affections
The things that we treasure are the things that we love most. And our hearts are bound to those things that we love the most. This text works in both directions. I believe that the object which you love will be what you throw your treasures at, and what your treasure is, becomes what your heart will be bound to. This could be a good or a bad thing.
In context, Christ is laying out a contrast between two opposites. Either you are laying up treasures spiritually in heaven, or physically in this short, fleeting life. A good case study is in the Old Testament with the nation of Israel. The generation that was brought out of Egypt did not love Yahweh (heavenly things). As a result, they worshiped Baal (Judges 8:33) and set up idols (earthly things). They gave up their gold to make a worthless idol, proving that their thankfulness and affection was not placed on God, but on their own creation (Ex. 32:1-6; c.f. Rom. 1:18-23). As “complex” and “intellectual” people in the 21st century, we are not as disconnected from this situation as you may think. We are too easily pleased with lesser things.
C.S. Lewis makes this point well when he says;
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.”
Heavenly treasure is opened up and lavished upon the believer, and we would rather worship football, hunting, or music than take part in this wonderful treasure. The main issue is not a lack of faith. Rather, we have misplaced our affections. We have started to worship and be satisfied in our wallets, opinions, and hobbies, instead of embracing the heavenly treasure that is opened up to us in the Son of God (Eph. 1:3). We need to be reminded about what our hearts should be bound to; the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13).
How do I know that my affections are misplaced? You ought to begin by examining what you spend most of your time doing, and thinking about. Then, examine what you spend most of your money on. For instance, if you would prefer to watch a football game, or spend the evening in a deer stand than you would prefer to read your Bible, pray, or be in fellowship with other believers, your affections are misplaced. If you can tell me every statistic of a football player, or every detail of a recipe, but you cannot tell me who King David was, your affections are misplaced. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a new hunting rifle and give $10 towards to the global expanse of the Kingdom, your affections are misplaced.
So, Christian, go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for a heart that loves the things of God. Ask for a soul that is ultimately satisfied and joyously enraptured with His greatness. Only the Spirit of God gives such wonderful joy. Beg for it in prayer, and learn about it in your tasting of the sweet honey that is the Scriptures. I beg you, come taste and see that the Lord indeed is good.