‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (v34)
A priority is a value we give to something; another word might be ‘treasure’. Life demands that we make decisions and choose what we prioritise. A favourite group icebreaker is to ask people that if their house was consumed in flames, what treasured item would they grab before running from the building? Answers offer a glimpse into our priorities. As a Christian we’re always challenged over what takes precedence in our lives. Daily we make choices, but the number of offerings is usually large. Here we truly face up to the enemy’s attempts to force our hand and act in ways that reduce God’s influence over our life, and in the world.
Whilst there’s always a logical rationale for the decisions we take, we are skilled at whitewashing our actions with carefully crafted words. Christian life is simple in essence. We obey God, our guide being His Word and personal encounter, often determined via our conscience. Informed by cultural norms, this regulates human behaviour. Such norms prove hard to recognise, articulate, and then resist, because they normalise all social understanding and interaction.
Conscience builds its knowledge base by observation, and exercises a powerful influence over how we choose, more often subconsciously than consciously. To obey God, we must develop our intuitive response to God’s indwelling Spirit, who will never contradict God’s eternal Word found in Scripture. Our daily challenge is learning to differentiate between building on experience drawn from observation and instruction of accepted social patterns of behaviour and discerning God’s will for us.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Prov. 18:1–15; Isa. 30:18–26; John 5:16–30; Heb. 4:14–16.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: In discerning God’s ways within the social and cultural context in which we live, what do we accommodate, where do we assimilate and when do we resist?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, teach me how to listen to You in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and to prioritise my spiritual aspirations and learning. Amen.’