When I think of a king, the first image that pops into my mind is Prince John from the Disney cartoon Robin Hood. Specifically, the scene where he is sitting in what I assume to be his throne room, surrounded by cold stone walls and all the money the small town of Nottingham has to offer him, and yet still infuriated and unsatisfied.
Even from a young age, it baffled me that Prince John allowed the town—that he was responsible to lead—to live in utter poverty while he lived in the lap of luxury, unhindered by the deprave state of the town.
Without projecting too much on today’s society, there is a hint of truth within this picture of the American way. In fact, I grew up in a household that adopted a piece of this mindset: do everything you can to make money so that you’re taken care of, safe, secure, etc. Keep getting jobs, keep moving up the ladder. The unspoken implication is that this security will usher in happiness and success; that you will finally have the peace that you’ve been longing for. This kind of lifestyle will never satisfy the deep need that the heart is truly longing for.
Now hear my heart in this, I understand the importance of working to make a living. There’s a reality of a healthy effort and work that we need to be accountable to. However, it becomes unhealthy when that work becomes the sole focus as a means-to-an-end for your happiness.
Maybe you’ve heard this verse: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Specifically, in this context Jesus is talking about money. However, this principle overflows and is implied in many different areas in our lives.
We see this in the way our thoughts, emotions, and actions come to fruition in our lives. In Luke 6:45 this becomes abundantly true: “The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”
So, I ask you this—but even more so myself: what is it that we treasure? What are we storing up in our heart? What do we prioritize? What are we investing our time, energy, money, talents, and resources into?
True peace and joy come through Jesus alone. He is the greatest treasure we could ever hope to receive. His name even means, Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. There is nothing we can do in our own strength to achieve the rich blessing He wants to lavish upon each of us. There will be seasons of difficulty, there will be seasons of intense fruitfulness, but God alone is my Provider in each of these seasons. Let us be so captivated by Him alone that our trust is in Him, each step of the way.