Give me a word, Lord: MONKEY BUSINESS

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 

1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Last night as we were reading our nightly devotional, I was reminded of old videos of monkeys with their hands trapped in holes. Do you know what I am talking about? If a hole is cut into an object such as a coconut or a log, and then some sort of bait is placed inside. The monkey will put his hand in the hole, grasp the bait in his fist, and then find that he can not remove his hand because he refuses to release the treasure that is within his fist. His fist will not fit through the hole, and he refuses to let go of the goods that are keeping him from obtaining desired freedom. I’ve laughed at the monkeys over the years, but I had never really reflected on it biblically. After some thought on the subject, I’ve come to the conclusion that we all practice a little bit of monkey business.

No, we aren’t dumb enough to get our hands trapped in a hole because we refuse to open our hand up. We have more God given sense than that, but what things of this world are we grasping hold of that are keeping us from freedom in Christ? Hmmm. That is a very deep subject. It is with great misfortune that we are a part of a society that thinks more is better. We are always seeking the new and improved version of this gadget or that. We want the newest, shiniest car. We want a bigger and better house. We want a better job. We want, we want, and we want. But what happens when we finally get that new gadget, that bigger house, or that better job? Are we completely satisfied? Did it fulfill all of our hearts desire? Are we finished searching for the next big thing? Unfortunately, the answer to all of those questions is usually no.

Why then do we keep searching? This simple minded monkey lover thinks that the reason we are not feeling fulfilled is because we aren’t filling our lives with the right treasure. We search and search and try to find the thing that fills that empty void within us. When we obtain one thing, we find out that wasn’t what we needed, and we go on to the next thing. It is a never ending cycle in which we always feel less than satisfied. The void remains no matter what lovely gift we obtain.

For you see, my friends, the treasure in which we are searching can not be found in earthly possessions or material objects. Those things may bring brief satisfaction, but it is a satisfaction that will not last. The treasure of our heart’s desire is eternal. The treasure is a relationship with Christ our King. Our treasure is found only in the One who died on the cross for our sins and rose again. Nothing or no one will satisfy the yearning within you but Christ. God made each and every one of us. We were all designed in His image, but we are each unique individuals. We have different likes and dislikes, talents and skills, but there is one thing that we all share in common. God designed each of us with a void, and emptiness, a little sense of incompleteness. Why would He do such a thing? He left room inside of each of us for us to invite Him in. The problem with mankind is that we don’t recognize that only One can fill that void, and we waste entirely too much time trying to fill it with things of this earth. However, those things of earth leave us trapped in debt and disappointment, but when we let go and let God, we are finally free…free eternally in Christ!

I do love monkeys, y’all. We have owned several lemurs through the years, and those little guys are characters indeed. It is fun to watch them as they get themselves into trouble and can’t seem to find their way out. We’ve had to help them out of a few sticky situations from time to time. Thank God, we are NOT monkeys, y’all, and thank God that we have One who is always willing and able to help us out of all of the sticky situations of life. We only have to be willing to let go and let God! Where is your treasure?

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