Friday, April 1, 2011
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Years ago we had a big move to make from Chicago to New Jersey. And our girl, who's now all grown up and a mother herself, was only 18 months old. I still remember how she responded to all that transition.
Now, we had three weeks in between the time we left Chicago and when we arrived in our new place in New Jersey. And after three weeks of not seeing everything that we owned, I had no idea how she was going to react. But as the mover was moving the couches and the chairs and all the furniture up the stairs to our new apartment, I noticed what my little daughter did. She went around and she started to caress the chair, and she said, "Love chair." Then she walked over to the couch and started to caress it. And she said, "Love couch." I'll tell you, it was really cute! It was obvious that those objects were an important part of her security. Now, you and I are all grown up, but well, may have become equally attached. In our case, uh, not so cute.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hugging the Furniture."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 John chapter 2, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 15. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does, comes not from the Father, but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
I guess the message John's communicating to us here, at least in part, is don't get too attached to the things of this world. It's okay to live in the world, but, well, don't let the world live in you. Don't love the world. He's describing a wrong relationship with the things of this world. Because, if you love the things of this world, well, then they can pull you off course.
Paul told us about a man named Demas, who had been one of his trusted associates in the ministry. But the Bible sadly says, "Demas has forsaken me because he loved this present world." You see, you love the Lord; you enjoy His gifts as they come to us here on earth, but you always have to be ready to relinquish them. Hold them loosely.
I wonder, as God looks at us, maybe He sees us saying, "Love house" like my daughter did when she saw the furniture. "Love my car." "Love my music." We've formed too strong an attachment. "Love this career I'm in." "Love this position." "Love this income." "Love this location." And we're holding it too tightly. You see, if we do, then it tends to make us unwilling to move when God asks us to do that.
Abraham had to leave his comfortable hometown to get to the Promised Land. Peter had to leave the boat that was his business. Paul had to leave his position as an intellectual giant in the world to become what he called "a fool for Christ's sake." Could it be that the Lord is asking you to do something that might call for a material sacrifice; to be willing to relinquish something that is earth stuff that you're holding too tightly? Maybe without you even realizing it, it's become a non-negotiable in your life.
Well, when any earth object becomes a deciding or a limiting factor in God's will, it has become an idol. Not only do you become unwilling to move, but you become willing to compromise, to cut spiritual corners so you won't risk losing this thing that has become so precious. Maybe it's time for an inventory. You know we need one regularly. Could it be that I'm limiting God by my love for something that is earth stuff? Something I'm not willing to relinquish?
See, when the Lord asks us to move, to change, to risk, let's not miss it because we're hugging the furniture.