Don’t we usually think of an inheritance as a future destination? Are we overlooking today’s inheritance because our eyes are on tomorrow’s destination? Are we missing an inheritance today because we had no clear direction or destination yesterday?
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Psalm 16:5-6 ESV
Yes, we each have an inheritance.
Let’s hold that thought for a moment, though. Because I want to talk about the journey for a minute, let’s talk about treasure –
What is the picture of a follower of God, if it isn’t someone who chooses God’s will and purpose for their lives over their own? And someone will say, “That sounds costly. That sounds like work. Isn’t grace supposed to be a free gift? Not of man’s doing or striving so that no one might boast?”
It goes back to treasure. What is our treasure?
You see, it isn’t costly when our eyes are opened to see the worthless and temporary nature of the things of this world. It isn’t costly when we realize the trappings and snares that the enemy sets with the worldly and carnal and sensual enticements that he can offer as bait. It isn’t costly when our eyes are opened in belief, in faith, that there are blessings eternal like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control that are far more valuable than what that other master has to offer.
And we can grasp the concept in our minds that eternal treasures are better than temporary treasures, but until we believe it in our hearts, it just doesn’t have much impact on our lives, because knowing and doing are two very different things.
Because “knowing” is not always “believing”, is it?
I’m going to share something that I think is crucial to understanding the life and perspective of a born again Christian and what it has to do with treasure.
Before I was His and walking in my calling and purpose, I saw those boundary lines of His divine instruction as restrictive, as confining – I wasn’t satisfied or content in my inheritance – I wanted more. I was seeking more treasure.
And that left me ungrateful for the blessings that I already had and envious of what was not yet mine. It also caused me to struggle against His instructions, as my desires pushed me to step over those boundary lines that had been set to protect me, and only my mind came into play as the guardian when I thought that I may have taken things too far and put myself at to great a risk of getting caught or facing punishment. It was all about me, me, me and more, more, more. Yes, this is a carnal nature full of the wrong desires, living by the flesh as an enemy of God.
My treasure had me trapped.
But God granted me the grace of a changed heart, of a born again life serving Him – and the battle lines didn’t shift, but my heart changed sides. Now, my desires are changed to want to do God’s will. And my heart is so joyful and content resting safely inside those boundary lines of my inheritance, of an abundant life filled with the very fruit of His nature, those eternal blessings that are nourishing to our soul and to those around us. But there is still a battle, and the lines are still there – I’ve just changed my mind about where I want to be.
Before, I was packing my bags for the final destination that I was headed to. I was filling up my life with all kinds of sin, because my eyes were set on getting out of the cage, breaking free of this oppressive set of laws and rules, having an opportunity to “enjoy life” – but I was really trying to enjoy death. I was really drinking down the poison of those things whose taste wears off and leaves us hungry and thirsty for more, more, more. You see, I was packing my bags and preparing myself for a place of hunger, of thirst, of pain, of emptiness, of longing, and of suffering. I was preparing myself for a final destination of hell and eternal torment where I would be far from the only true and good nourishment that only comes from God.
I was gathering the wrong kind of treasure – things that weren’t treasure at all.
But that was the old man. I am now new. I am now His, and I am grateful for these boundary lines that have fallen into pleasant places for my life. And if I cross over those lines at all, it is not to indulge and conform to the ways of this world, but it is to share light in the darkness. But it is my heart and my desire now to stay within these boundaries and it isn’t burdensome, but it’s a wonderful assurance and comfort to rest in the safety of the green pastures of my inheritance. You see, my inheritance doesn’t wait until after I’m dead, I get to experience and enjoy His presence in my life even today. And I’m packing my bags with a life of upright and righteous living, of service and love towards my brother, of hating evil and sin – even the garment that is stained with it.
save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Jude 1:23 ESV
And here’s the kicker. As wonderful and amazing as it is to rest within the boundary lines after having lived a life caught in the traps and snares – the wounds begin to heal. The annointing of His very Spirit and nature being poured out over and into our lives repairs those areas of our lives that used to be open wounds for the enemy to attack and exploit and trick us into stumbling, falling, turning back in retreat. But once healed, equipped and prepared forbattle, there is no room for retreat any longer, friends – there is nothing ahead but victory.
And this is not victory over the boundary lines. This is not escape from our rightful resting place following His commandments and living a righteous, upright life. This is not escape so that we can occupy new lands outside those safe boundary lines, No! This is not freedom TO sin. That would not be victory but defeat!
We cross the battle lines not so that we can return to the ways of the enemy – we cross the lines to find and offer rescue to our brothers and sisters who are still in captivity.
The Lord is our chosen portion and prize – the only treasure worth having.
Know what it is that you desire, friend. Because whatever you desire is your treasure, and it will be your inheritance.
Don’t misunderstand His promise to give you the desires of your heart to be a promise of prosperity alone, when it should be a fearful warning about what reveals our final destination.
What is your treasure?
Are you willing to gain the world and forfeit your soul?
What is the desire of your heart today?
If you get what you desire, what are you giving up for it?
If you are desiring Christ, and understanding that everything this temporary world has to offer is worthless – peace be with you, friend.
But if you are not, my hope is that you might come to know the truth before it is too late. I would rather you be burned by any fire of conviction in my words, so that you might turn back today and revive His gift of grace, rather than be left in the flames for eternity.
Someone will, say, “Whoa, that escalated quickly. We were talking about treasure, now you’re judging me as hell bound!” No, I am sharing truth written on paper, only your heart can testify to your destination and what it is you treasure.
But even if you are feeling the conviction, the question, the doubt of your heart’s true desires, I have Good News!
Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, friend. But even more importantly, He was raised from the dead on the third day as an example and demonstration of what He offers you. This gift of grace is not something you buy with a tithe. It is not getting your name written down on a church membership list. It is not something that you earn through your good works. It is a gift that you seek, ask, and knock at the narrow gate of Jesus Christ. That gate is found when we stop trying to escape His guidance and will and purpose for our lives, and we turn to Him – the word for this is repentance. It simply means turning to look to Him as the way, the truth, and the life that you want to follow. And through this repentance, He offers us an internal baptism, a washing away of our sins, and a change of our hearts to desire those eternal treasures.
And as we continue to seek Him in prayer, in studying His Word, and in serving faithfully, we gain sight and understanding and we are equipped to no longer be blind to those traps of the enemy. It is a growing process, it is a race to the finish – so start packing your bags friend! We have a destination in store!
Yes, we have an inheritance!