In the very small area that we live in there is a yearly event that attracts many people from the surrounding locality called ‘Trail of Treasures,’ an event that my lovely wife and I do not participate in. An aptly named event if one is searching for the things of this world to temporarily satisfy, for it is the name given to an annual event of individuals that offer their wares at what is commonly known as ‘garage sales,’ even though few of them seem to revolve around the sale of a building to store ones vehicle in. My belief is that the label evolved from the fact that so many people have purchased items over the period of their lives on impulse, and when there is no more room to display them in their houses, they are relegated to the garage, possibly because even the basement is full of these “treasures.”
These items are nearly always purchased with what could be best described as ‘disposable income,’ money that is left over, if you will, after all the necessary requirements of the continued existence of their lives are met. But there are others, these are those that simply purchase what they want because they want it, because it will fill a void, as it were, in their lives at the moment, a way to temporally feel better about their current state of affairs. Beyond the clothes of young children who seem to outgrow them every hour, the list of items is endless, but the reason for the majority of them is not a ‘needs item,’ but a want to be filled, this item makes them feel better for the moment, gives them a lift of the spirits, gives them a temporary purpose beyond the mundane.
These individuals do not care how much it cost or what must be sacrificed to obtain the particular item, whether it be a new car or a wind chime at a discount store, to acquire it is the focus, and if they have or can get the funds to purchase it, they will. The sad part of this is that after only a short while, the item will need to be replaced, for the newness is gone, and the feelings of securing another object becomes overwhelming. Many times these people do not even know what it is that they are searching for, until they find it. It is a sad existence, for the newness of anything temporal always wears off, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but it is inevitable, no matter what the item is.
If you have spent any time at all listening to Dave Ramsey’s wise financial advice, you know that money is basically good for three things only, to give, save or spend, it serves no other earthly purpose. In the long run though, it is nothing more than a piece of paper or disc of metal that has an agreed value, it is neither evil or good, but can be used for both purposes, and it holds absolutely no value to the Christian, for everything belongs to the Lord, (Psalm 50:10) and like any other gift that He has blessed us with, we are to be good stewards of what He has bestowed upon us, whether temporal or eternal.
So then, we come to the crux of the topic, is there anything that we have in the spiritual realm of our lives that needs to be put on the garage sale? The temporal things are relatively easy to spot, and after time served for the Lord, the wise steward will have ended any unnecessary purchases with the funds from the Lord that he has been blessed with, and a short trip around the premises every six months or so will inevitably produce less and less items for the thrift store to receive. But in the spiritual realm we have a different equation, for now we must speak on the carnal items, those things in our hearts and walk with the Lord that are a deterrent to a right fellowship with Him.
This begins like any other beneficial habit, one day at a time, every day in fact at the onset, for anything worth doing is worth doing well, and as this endeavor will glorify God, it is an extremely worth while effort in the life of every Christian. I will not begin a discourse here on the carnal Christian, for in a sense, until we are glorified in heaven, we are all to one degree or another carnal, the issue at hand is just how carnal are you, what needs to not be just set up for sale, as it were, but disposed of as refuse, unwanted trash in your life, what is hindering your relationship in your walk with the Lord.
Is both your sensual and sexual life pure, if you are married do all the thoughts that you have in this area revolve around your spouse, are you open and honest with her in this most important area of your lives, and even more, are you honest with the Lord about them, He who already knows, my friends. Are you making a conscience effort if you are not, praying ceaselessly until the answer of His mercy and grace is given to you. (Eph. 5:21-33) If you are single, are you using your flesh for the Glory of God, fleeing temptation, praying constantly for the Lord to prepare you for the husband or wife that He will send to you, or, if your, or His desire is for you to remain single and serve, are you praying for temptations of the flesh to abate, and for His continued guidance in a life of devoted service to Him. (1st Cor. 7:32-35)
Are the physical desires of your flesh aligning with the Scriptures, have you begun the arduous task of controlling what your eyes see, what your ears listen to, what the tongue expresses. My beautiful wife and I have an agreement between us, which over time has turned into an action of faith and trust, when either one of us notices an attractive person of the opposite sex, the first glance is not expected, it is almost always inadvertent, but the second look would be by choice, and our deep love for each other is more than a deterrent enough to hinder that second look.
Please allow me to quote Francis De Sales from his book “Introduction to the Devout Life,” “Never hearken to any indiscreet conversation whatsoever-never mind if you seem rude and uncourteous in rejecting all such. Always remember that you have dedicated your heart to God and offered your love to Him. There must be no dallying with an attachment which is incompatible with the love of God.” When you begin to hear something you should not hear, leave, it is as simple as that.“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.” (Matt.12:36) Do you see the word ‘idle’ there, it does not just mean without purpose or effect, a passing, trivial statement, in the Scriptures in this context it means unfruitful, an opportunity was missed, so to speak, that the Lord placed in front of you, and you knew it. Not only words that are spoken are our enemy, but also those that are not, and if you have been in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ for any length of time, you are aware of what I am speaking of here. You are an ambassador of the Most-High God, speak and behave yourself in the appropriate manner.
Your trail of treasure is not going to be found in the front yard of your neighbor with a sign that says ‘two for a quarter’ or ‘marked down fifty percent,’ my friends, for nothing that you acquire here on this earth save for what is done for the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ will be beneficial. You began the walk on your trail of treasure the moment the Lord came into your life, the moment He sent the assurance of the holy Spirt into your heart to lead and guide you down the path to your treasure. Yes, your treasure is those that you have been blessed with to lead to the cross of Christ, it is the crowns that you have achieved by the power of the Holy Spirt and His guidance, it is the intents and actions of your heart that were only so that His wonderful Name would be exalted above all others, but these are not your true treasure.
Your treasure above all that can be called by that name is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, for in Him is all the fullness of the deity. (Col. 2:9) Search your life, look deep inside of your soul, and dispose of anything that will hinder the path He has set you on, your true trail of treasure leads directly to the very throne room of God Himself, and what He will not allow in His Kingdom is nothing that you need to try to accumulate today.