The Christian life is depicted as a pilgrim on a journey to a destination city and country. Despite the biblical instruction to lay aside everything that encumbers us, many Christians are given over to procurement and preservation of the things of this world.
Carnal collection is indicative of worldliness. Sinful men lust for stuff. They covet their neighbors’ goods, and their greed is seen in their insatiable desire for more of this world. It seems to escape the attention of accumulators that they come into the world with nothing, and they leave the world with nothing. The carnal mind clearly thinks that more is better, and salvation, is sufficient stuff to see one through this life.
A while back, I traveled 4,350 miles in the car with my three youngest children for a vacation. We were packed-in with a few comfort items and food stuffs. Our car boot/trunk was filled with luggage that just fit the dimensions of the hidden compartment. What troubled me on our journey were the items that soon proved to be frivolous for the trip. The reason for my angst was the necessity to unpack and pack these items, repeatedly. Instead of discarding them, there was a notion that they would serve a future purpose. Of course, an automobile is limited, but it made me contemplate how we fill our abodes and then our storage units. We rationalize the same way with unlimited space, as we do with limited space.
The mind of Christ puts our reality in this world into a very different perspective. He that is spiritual, is filled with the Holy Spirit, who knows our stay upon the earth is temporary, even so much as a vapor. Christians must examine themselves regarding the balance between our carnal and spiritual experience in this world. We have the Spirit of Christ and the Word of God — some food and clothing, and these are sufficient for sojourners to the celestial city.
Lusts for more of this world, packed into our pilgrimage can only be a hindrance. Fleshly lusts war against the Christian’s soul. We are too often exposed for loving the world and the things of the world. Is Christ sufficient for you and your journey? Are you content with spiritual things? If you know that storing up earthly treasures is wrong, then is it not unbelief that motivates your hoarding? Does God know we have need for daily bread?
The Son of Man, upon His incarnate abiding here, had no place to lay His head. This was not a forced poverty; but rather, Jesus showed His followers a better way to tarry here. A traveler’s lifestyle is the Christian’s model to follow. Stuff hinders our focus on Christ. It limits our Christian experience, in this divine adventure prepared for us.
There are no seven-step programs for traveling light. This is a matter of sanctification, and sanctification belongs to the Spirit, who is the Lord. My prayer is for each Christian, who reads this musing, to consider her baggage. Traveling light, as pilgrims headed to a spiritual city, we must trust in God’s daily care and provision — extended to His people by grace.
Pray that God would increase your faith, lighten your carnal load, delight you with an ever-increasing spiritual reality, and help you to be content with what little you have of this world. In Christ, less of the world is truly a blessing.
Spokane Valley, Washington
July 24, 2021