The great Puritan Thomas Watson said, “God takes away the world, that the heart may cleave more to Him in sincerity.” There are countless quotes and thoughts that I whole-heartedly agree with and at the same time want to be true of someone else and not me. This is one such quote.
I believe the Kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in a field that is worth selling all I have to obtain. But far to often, I want the treasure hidden in the field and some of my stuff too. I want God but I also want money, comfort, ease, and constant amusement. I want to be godly, but at times, I want godliness to be absorbed and not gained through diligences and discipline. Can I have both?
Thomas Watson said what the Bible is pretty clear on: NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE BOTH! Jesus said, “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:33) Not very seeker sensitive of Jesus, those are strong words. His brother James said, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (Jam 4:4a) The Apostle John says, “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 Jn 2:15) But, I still tend to want my stuff. Is there any hope for me?
Yes, my hope comes from the gospel. The gospel tells me that I’m a sinful loser that is helpless on my own and Christ alone is my only hope. The gospel is not just something I need pre-conversion, the gospel is something I need daily. The gospel tells me that because God has loved me in Christ and sustains me by the Holy Spirit, He will not let me go. The gospel tells me God has loved me apart from my good deeds, my moralism, my religion and in spite of my longing for the world. The gospel (good news) tells me that because I have the tendency to want to hold onto the world, God will take the world from me. I am so thankful that He does, so my hands are now free to hold on to Him. When I won’t let go of this world, God just takes it from me and replaces it with something infinitely better, Himself.
Ahh, the gospel how I love and how I love it!