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Understanding What You Have

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.  This also is vanity and grasping for the wind. Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NKJV)

Have you every really thought about trying to grasp at the wind?  It sounds like a funny question and yet it makes a very good illustration for those who are always seeking to obtain the next thing they have determined will satisfy their desires.  But no matter what we achieve with respects to obtaining, we often find those things we desired and strived to get are now tarnished and lacking in making us fulfilled and happy.  We see this with cars, clothes, jobs, homes, and even with relationships.  Simply put, the things one possesses are no longer meeting their needs to quench the lust of their flesh.  

Now, before I go any further, I am not condemning those who purchase new clothes, cars, or houses - I am simply stating a fact clearly spoken of in Ecclesiastes 6:9.  Solomon made the point; it is better to look upon what you have with contentment than to wander about in fantasy and desire of things you don't have.  He knew if a person did this, it would be a waste of time and damaging.  He describes it as being "Vanity and grasping for the wind."

This word "vanity" means: temporary or meaningless.  So when we continue to look upon those physical objects of desire in this world that we don't possess with hopes of bringing us a lasting fulfillment, it is meaningless and it will only be temporary at best. And it could be very devastating in the long run depending on what it is we are lusting after, and what price we paid to obtain it. We can look to an example of buying something on credit and having a financial burden for years, or it can be the choice to sin by leaving a spouse for a new relationship, resulting in more sin and devastated lives.  

Actually the whole Book of Ecclesiastes is making this point of vanity, or the meaningless pursuit of pleasure, and for a good reason.  Because it affects every human being.  The problem is our flesh has the inherent propensity to lust after the things it feels will bring pleasure.  Unfortunately, many of these things are not good, or they can be legitimate needs being sought out in illegitimate and improper ways.

This process can start by us looking back to our past - romanticizing and thinking how great things were, or we can be fantasizing about something in our future - we sort of start meandering or wandering about with no eternal purpose.  We stop looking at the things awaiting us in Heaven along with the things we already possess and have been given by God.  It is the temptation and deception from Satan to think, "If I only had this or that, I would be happy, or safe, etc., etc..."  Not only is this a lie, but also the trade-off is not worth the price being paid.  Jesus proposes a very eye-opening question with regards to this very subject.

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (NKJV)

Q:  How can we guard ourselves against this great deception from the enemy's temptation to put our eyes on the things of this world to bring us fulfillment?

A:  By keeping our eyes on God and screening every thought to see if it is in alignment with God's Word, and His desires for our life (See 2 Cor 10:5).

Listen to what Solomon said at the finish of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon had been given unparalleled wisdom but chose to go out and test everything his flesh desired.  When he was finished, he determined everything he chased after and partook of to fulfill the desires of his flesh was meaningless.  He finished his writing by stating what must be done in our life for us to have true fulfillment and purpose.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. 12:13 (NKJV)

After squandering years of his life and grasping at the wind, Solomon rightfully concluded there was no worth in what he had done.  He could now truthfully say with conviction, "If a life is to have any real purpose or meaning, then one must fear (respect) God and keep the instruction He has given within His Word.  Then, and only then will a person truly be happy and content."

Hey Christian, maybe you can relate to this story.  Maybe you have made some bad choices in an attempt to find happiness or fulfillment only to find it to be temporary.   You soon found it bringing a whole new set of issues and leaving you feeling empty.  It can all be stopped today by simply seeking the Lord for His forgiveness; repenting from anything not in His will, and by making it your commitment to abide in His way of living (See John 15).  

I want to encourage you today to put your eyes back on Jesus and don't take them off.  Find everything you need in Him alone and you will always be filled with joy and contentment.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional about pursuing temporal pleasures to fulfill the desires of our flesh?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you looking to Jesus to meet EVERY need you have, or are you looking to something else?

APPLICATION: Seek the Lord today and talk to Him about this.  Tell Him you are sorry for the times you have looked to other things to meet the need that only He can fill.  

Father, Thank You for meeting my needs abundantly.  Father, I confess I have looked to this world to meet the needs that only You can fill, and I am sorry.  I acknowledge that my flesh will always desire these things and I need Your help to remember the truth when I am tempted.  Let me see these things for what they are Lord, and in the way You see them.  Lord, I know it is not wrong to possess nice things, but may I never look to them to meet my true needs.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000