• Many times, we are torn between serving God and pursuing earthly things
• For the rich man, his wealth was his pride and joy
In Matthew 19: 16-30, Jesus Christ had an interesting encounter and conversation with a rich young man, who had come to pick His brains. The man had wanted to know what he needed to do to gain eternal life.
Jesus told him to keep the commandments, to which the rich man replied that he had done that. Jesus then told him to go sell all his possessions and come and follow Him.
This instruction seemed a bit of a stretch for the rich man, who went away sad because he didn't want to have to sell his possessions. Jesus then remarked that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich to see heaven.
The young man represents many of us whenever we are torn between serving God and letting go of the worldly things we treasure.
In Matthew 6: 19-21, Jesus preaches against the tendency to store our treasures on earth, where the moth and vermin destroy it and thieves steal it. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," He continues.
As people who were created by God as worship vessels, it is hard to do so in spirit and truth if we keep idols in our hearts. These idols may be in form of our love for money, addictions and relationships.
For the rich man, his wealth was his pride and joy and a centrepiece of his heart. He was not willing to make the sacrifice of selling his possessions so as to follow Jesus and serve God fully.
Wholesome submission to God requires us to leave certain things or habits in the past and set our hearts on things above, in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1-2).
This is what happened to Abraham when he had to leave his father's homeland to go to the land that Lord would provide for him to settle. Albeit he had never encountered the Lord before then, Abraham obeyed wholeheartedly and as a result was rewarded with the blessing of being the father of many nations.
The problem with humanity is that the human heart is deceitful and above all, beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9). Nonetheless, thank God for He is the manufacturer and the only one who can search the heart and examine the mind.
To get rid of these idols in our heart, prayer is the starting point. Ask God for the grace to let go of that which is hindering your total surrender to Him.
In Matthew 19:23, Jesus tells His disciples that whatever is impossible for man is possible for God. No matter the magnitude of our challenge in worshipping Him, He can create a pure heart in us, a heart focused on the treasures in heaven and not on earth.