Many of you don't know this yet, but I have recently started a business with my good friend Dan Doyle. This was a huge answer to prayer for Lauren and I, but something I never expected to get into; we're making toys! Starting a business has been quite an adventure, but along the way, the devil has seen opportunities to take truth and twist it just a little bit at a time.
When you don't have a lot of money and then all of the sudden you own a part of a business that has the possibility of making a lot of cash, your mind has a way of dreaming. What would it be like if I made a million dollars? What would I do with all of the money? Where could I go? Where would I send my kids to school? What would my vacations look like? What would my house look like? Where would I eat out? What brand name cloths and groceries would we want to start buying? What car would I drive? And on and on and on.
But then the Holy Spirit began speaking to me through great friends like the Doyles, Pastor Casey, and my wife. No one said to me, "Watch out! Don't get greedy with money!" Each of them just had small chunks of wisdom that the Holy Spirit connected for me. When I listened to the people around me, people whom I love and respect, the Holy Spirit uncovered something in my life I hadn't even realized.
I was succumbing to worldly wisdom and being deceived by the devil.
I was believing the lie that I needed a better car, a better house, better food and cloths. I was believing the lie that I had a right to a better life. After all, if I worked for the money, didn't I deserve a good life? Wasn't it just a blessing from God? Come on! If King Solomon could buy everything his heart desired, can't I? This is where Satan took a truth and twisted it. Just like he did to Eve in the garden, the devil was making me feel like God wanted me to have something and that I deserved a better and fuller life. That is true, but it is how he tried to fulfill that truth that he deceived me.
The devil whispered in my ear, "Zach, you can have a fuller life if you just enjoy God's blessings and enjoy his creation. In fact, enjoy all of his creation! Enjoy everything to the fullest!" How great does that sound? What is wrong with this lie? Is it even a lie?
The devil is tricky. He doesn't always say, "You should go kill that person," or "Steal that money right from her hand!" No. He's not that dumb. Rather, he lies to us in what he doesn't say. When I began to uncover what the devil was telling me, I realized that he wasn't lying to me directly; he was just taking verses out of the context of the Bible. The devil was doing the same thing that he did to Jesus when he tempted him. He was taking truths out of the context of Scripture.“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." (Matthew 4:6). Jesus responded by quoting another verse: "Do not put the lord your God to the test." (Matthew 4:7).
When I heard what the devil was telling me, I asked myself, "Is this consistent with all of Scripture?" The answer was a resounding no.
Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
And 1 John 3:17-18 says, "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."
These two passages rocked my world. Was what the devil said about me deserving a fuller life true? Yes, but it is achieved when we live for God's kingdom and not our own and it often doesn't look like what we think it should. We will have a fuller life when we do his will! But what is his will?
God's will for us is that we realize that this world is not our home and spend our money accordingly. God's will for us is that we spend money where He would spend money; after all, it's all His anyway. God's will for us is that we live with an eternal mindset and not get trapped in the lies of this world.
How will I spend my money? First of all, I will realize that it is not mine to begin with. I will, by God's grace, spend money on what Jesus would spend money on. The way I spend money should show that this world is not my home. I need to give until it hurts and use my money to advance God's kingdom and not my own.
Where my treasure is, there my heart will be also. I don't want my heart to be in this broken world. I desperately want my heart to be in God's eternal kingdom! Therefore, it is so important that I spend the money God has entrusted to me for His kingdom and store up eternal treasure. It is so important that I do not listen to the twisted truth from the devil but run everything through all of Scripture.
Where is your heart? With God or in this broken world? That will be answered when you ask yourself this question: Where is my treasure?