And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15 )
“And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? IF YOU THEN ARE NOT ABLE TO DO THE LEAST, WHY ARE YOU ANXIOUS FOR THE REST? (Luke 12:25-26)
Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, NOR HAVE AN ANXIOUS MIND. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, A TREASURE IN THE HEAVENS THAT DOES NOT FAIL, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Luke 12:29-34)
Covetousness “is an insatiable desire for worldly gain.”
Covetousness is an insatiable desire to find fulfillment, meaning and purpose in things, instead of in God. The spirit of covetousness leads to and is the mother of many other sins. [Ex:] Coveting another man’s wife leads to adultery (2 Sam. 11:4,5).—James Cagle: The Valdosta Daily Times
At the heart of covetousness is idolatry, and at the root of idolatry is unbelief. Unbelief is the basis for all sin-when we choose not to take God at His Word, there is unbelief steeped within our hearts. His Word says that He will provide for our every need if we will seek Him first! That is a promise we can take to the bank. So many times though, we expect all of His promises without fulfilling the conditions, or we just don’t trust that God will hold up His end. The result: anxiety/fear and anger. These emotions are a check engine light for our hearts. My #1 question to myself when I’m feeling anxiety/fear or anger is “Am I abiding in Jesus?”
To abide means “1 : to remain stable or fixed in a state. 2 : to continue in a place : will abide in the house of the Lord.”
If I’ve been abiding in Jesus, then I’ve remained stable in His Word and in prayer and fixed my eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:2 and Romans 12:1-2).
If I’ve been abiding in Jesus, then I’ve continuously, faithfully come into the House of The Lord (Hebrews 10:25) and walked in loving community with His precious Body (because the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” 1 Corinthians 12:21).
If we love and want to abide in Jesus, then we cannot neglect fellowship with His Body, the Church! Christ is the Head, yet no one would ever say, “I only need the head and not the body.”
How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, AND LIMITED THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL. (Psalm 78:40-41)
Psalm 78 recaps much of Israel’s history and all the mighty miracles God worked on their behalf through the Exodus and in the wilderness: He split the Red Sea in two. When they had no water, God made water gush from the rock. When they complained for meat because they had no gratitude for the manna, God provided more meat than they could consume, but because of their covetousness, complaining, and craving, it became sour and a plague broke out. And yet after all these things, the people still tested God with their unbelief. “Would He provide this, and that, and then another thing?” “Wouldn’t it have been better if we’d remained slaves in Egypt?” “There are giants in the Promised Land!”
Jesus Himself exhorted us not to worry. Worrying is of course not limited to what we will eat or drink or to what we will wear. We can apply these truths to whatever it is that’s got us worrying. Our children. Our marriages. A diagnosis. The state of our world. Whatever it is, Jesus is instructing us not to have an anxious mind because it limits His power from being displayed in our lives! By our own worry, we effectively reject the mighty Hand of God instead of grabbing hold in faith and watching Him move on our behalf!
There is ONLY one way to combat and crush the anxiety, fear, and anger in our hearts and minds, and that is to ABIDE IN HIM – not just with our mouths but with our whole being-actively, meditating on His Word and allowing Holy Spirit to change us through prayers of thanksgiving and repentance, and faithful fellowship with the body of Christ!
We know what we ought to do; we have head knowledge of our Savior and how we’re “supposed” to feel. But abiding is how we make the connection from our heads to our hearts, and it becomes REAL in us! It becomes our authentic core BELIEF!
“Abide in Me [Jesus], and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
Precious Abba, I pray Jesus’ sweet prayer over all who would believe in You:
“I do not pray for these alone [His disciples], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You [abide in one another]; that they also may be one in Us [abide], that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am [abide], that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them [abide].” John 17:20-26