As I purge, clean, detox, simplify... I see that for so many years (32 to be exact) I've been collecting things that have come from somewhere. But where? What is the source from where they were created and sent out... and how many people actually had a part in the making and transportation of this thing before it was placed in my hands. This is part of the problem: we have NO EARTHLY IDEA who or what is at the source of what we are consuming. And most importantly their intention. We are a culture (christian or not) who wants what we want, when we want it... and if that doesn't happen we throw a little fuss. Don't deny, we've all done it. I can't say i'm very proud of myself in those moments... but the more I've become aware how important the source is, the easier it has become for me to deny certain things knowing God has BETTER than I could imagine!
When we are speaking about tangible things the "story of stuff" is almost a physical representation of what we experience when we accept the world's version (i.e. counterfeit) instead of seeking the gifts of the TRUE source and the LIFE He offers with His LOVE.
As I began following the trail backwards from the clothes that I bought, the food our purchased, the books I read, or the movies I watched... My eyes began to be opened to many things: the amount of injustice that occurred just for the one thing to reach my hands (even sometimes "christian" products), the idea of an over-consuming society that I was very much a part of (no matter how much I compared myself to others wealthier than I), sometimes the subtle message that was being told through that thing I was ingesting, and the intention of the source of that thing and how it had effected me when I was unaware. Then I began to think about all of the other things I was missing out on God was offering that were coming directly from Him whose intention was for my good and for His glory.
You see... it's easy for us to talk about all the things we believe in, sometimes easier for christians to argue about the things they don't believe in. But what God has been revealing to me is how often we are "buying" into these things we don't even believe in... and how much they are actually influencing our body, mind, soul and spirit. Before you know it, we have a hard time believing God is who He says He is... and in turn see counterfeit as more of a reality and essential to our lives rather than an "option" that will eventually leave us empty and alone. If we think we don't have a choice because of money, time, or variety.... then we are very wrong and have believed lies somewhere along the way. And sometimes we have to spend a little more, take a little more time, or look a little harder at first.... but He's worth it and WILL provide.
I'm not necessarily suggesting you throw out everything you own and start from scratch, but I'm just asking that we take a deeper look at where our "stuff" is coming from and the effects it could be having on us. There is an epidemic growing in the western world of supply and demand. We demand and in turn the poor broken world supplies, no matter the cost. When you look at it that way, we are sittin' pretty in a comfortable world talking about Jesus and His love for us... while the world (that He very much cares about) is hurting and dying. Yes God cares about their salvation... but as you read the gospels you can clearly see His heart for their well-being in addition. "Whatever you've done to the least of these, you've done it unto me..." Matthew 25. Not only does He deeply care for each and every human being, but He's calling us to be good stewards of everything He's given us as a gift.... Our body, the world and everything in it... especially the people.
So the question becomes: Are we being good stewards of what He's given us according to the word or according to the world? I know that we can't possibly follow everything that we have back to the source... that's missing the point. More so I believe God is calling us to cut out the source of things that are toxic to us and others involved. (Even if the world tells us the economy will crash...don't we trust in Him above all that?) The enemy is the ultimate source of these things or has taken something good and tainted it along the way.
Cutting off the source of these things is half the battle. Not only will we be demanding less counterfeit, but we'll be fighting for more justice, life, love, and truth. And God- the true source- is the ONLY one that can and will supply these things. Eventually you will see how you've saved lots of effort, time, money, etc by buying into the truth. And honestly, God doesn't even see that as important compared to YOU. He wants ALL of you. And as we cut out the source of toxic things... we are making room for Him to nourish us. We are to be the vessels to make God's glory known throughout the earth, but how can we be those proper vessels if we are packed to the rim with counterfeit. He desires us to be a constant flow of His goodness- SURE of who He is and confident in who He created us to be as sons and daughters of a KING.
So let's end this blog by reflecting on the choice that's been around since the garden of eden. Are we going to go to the source- the tree of eternal life, or are we going to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? You see.... God gave them a choice then, and He gives us a choice now.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.....
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Then, when they were deceived and ate from the very tree God had warned them against what happened? They were banished from that garden. My first thought of God was then one of punishment. But over the years, as I've taken a closer look at this... my eyes were opened to God's heart for adam and eve, even His heart for us. I began to see His LOVE... and this is what changed me. Now take a look at this....
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
God knew that if they then ate from the Tree of Life, we would all be doomed living in a fallen body in a fallen and broken world FOREVER. Wow, in this moment of revelation I was blown away by His love... and am every single time i read this.
Then He sent His son.... who became the new TREE OF LIFE for all to eat from. We need food daily to survive. What are we feasting on spiritually... and is it feeding and cleansing our spirit man or is it just momentarily taking our hunger pangs away? Are we producing fruit that is revealing God's love daily... or are we still just feeding off of a tree that is feeding us lies of the enemy? Just because we may have made one decision to follow Christ doesn't entirely mean that it stops there... we are consuming something daily (constantly making decisions), what is it and where is it coming from? Does it contain the nutrients we need to be strong and fit for the present spiritual battles we face daily for the Lord's kingdom or does it contain unnatural things created by the source of lies that is weakening our spiritual immunity every second? Think about it. Pray about it. And do something about it. By doing "nothing" we are actively choosing for the enemy to have more authority in your life and in this world. Because if we don't detox His crap out and let God come in and nourish us... then He will be happy finding a home in every area God is not present. This is why God wants ALL OF US.... not just our "spiritual" lives.