Let’s face it, we have too much stuff! Even more than that, our stuff is taking over our lives. We think that our stuff improves the quality of our lives, when instead, it’s taking it away. In fact, it’s even destroying our lives! Wouldn’t your life be simpler if you had less stuff? Wouldn’t your life be better?
We live in a society in which, in our great wisdom, we have rejected the spiritual and embraced the material. We once worshipped a spiritual God. Although we now call ourselves “atheists,” all many have really done is replace one God with another: a god who we can see and touch and count, a material God – our stuff.
After all, our god is whomever we make the centre of our lives, whatever we live for, and what we are even prepared to die for. And in our culture of modern idolatry, we have made our stuff our god. This is precisely what the apostle Paul described thousands of years ago. It’s still true today:
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised ( Rom 1:25, NIV).
That’s the basic definition of idolatry: to worship the provision, and not the Provider. Of all the things that God warns us about in the Bible, from beginning to end, idolatry, or false worship is at the core.
In fact, God even portrays the world just before the second coming of Jesus as being divided along issues of worship: the true worshippers of God and the idolaters, who worship their stuff. It says of this second group that they,
…repented not of the works of their hands… and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood (Revelation 9:20, NIV).
Your stuff is going to burn up and disappear.
Why is centring your life around your stuff so easy to do? The reason is that the dominant worldviews of our society tell us that the material is all that exists, and it rejects the spiritual. Even if we are people of faith, and we overtly reject this worldview, the temptation is strong to think that what we can perceive through our physical senses: what we can see, touch, hear, taste; is somehow more real than the spiritual realities.
The reason why this is so dangerous, is that the Bible says, literally, that all that is physical and material in this world is going to burn:
…the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (2 Peter 3:7, NIV).
Your stuff is going to burn up and disappear – yes, all of it. And if you derive your identity from your stuff, what will be your destiny?
To truly worship God is to completely derive your identity from him, and to trust in him for everything. Your stuff may disappear, but God’s not going anywhere. You too will remain forever, if you are with him. That’s why in a final message of warning to the world, God tells us to,
Worship God and give glory to him (Rev 14:7, NKJV).
It’s important to examine your own life and ask yourself: Is there any aspect of it in which you are worshipping your stuff? Is there any aspect of your life in which you have adopted the materialistic culture of the world?
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.