“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
Every experienced traveler knows the key is to pack as lightly as possible.
It’s best to restrict yourself to the absolute essentials.
Every item beyond what is necessary is a burden. It makes travel that much more difficult.
And the further you have to go, the harder it makes it.
“But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
Every thing I acquire beyond what I need becomes a burden.
At the very least it becomes something I keep up with mentally: “Where is… ?”, “I thought I had…”
That sounds trivial but, at scale, with a house full of such things, it becomes a preoccupation: stuff to store, keep up with and protect.
And, you’ve never seen anyone travel with a house on their back.
“For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Stuff is a burden that keeps us stuck.
“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
And many of us are enslaved to jobs just to keep stuff as it’s keeping us in the same place, all while being told that “success” is acquiring more stuff that really just results in us being more stuck.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
—1 Timothy 6:10
So, I’m seeking to lay aside this weight and I’m praying, asking God for wisdom, “How should I approach material goods? How can I avoid the peril you warn against in Mark 4:19?”
“and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
What I have so far is to regard everything I have as belonging to Christ and thinking how I can use it for His profit.
“Sell what you have and give to the poor; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
And, to approach any consideration of a new possession with the thought,
“Does Jesus need another…?”,
“Is this useful to Jesus?”,
“Does it help me be more useful to Jesus?”
“Is this something Jesus has given me to enjoy that I can enjoy without attachment?”
Because God does give us things to enjoy,
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
—1 Timothy 6:17
But everything we think is good does not necessarily come from God.
Satan gives gifts too.
The key distinction is everything God gives results in us being closer to Him with greater knowledge of Him. Everything else is stuff that seduces us and lures our heart away from God.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
—1 John 2:15
In short: avoid stuff.
It slows me down and keeps me from the true riches.(Luke 16:11)