If you're chasing after riches, you're chasing after spiritual death.
If you're chasing after riches, you're chasing after spiritual death. (Flickr )

There are many things in this world that constantly pull and beg for our attention, our heart, our worship and our souls. The battle for our heart that takes place each and every day is an active one and one that begs to be acknowledged if one seeks any chance of keeping themselves one a straight and narrow path.

Why? Because if we don't learn to put up our guard as Christians, the enemy will seek every opportunity it can to steal, kill and destroy our hearts (John 10:10).

If the opposite of good is bad, the opposite of life is death, and the opposite of light is darkness, then anything opposing the grace and truth of Jesus is not only dead and bad but dark as well. Darkness is an enemy that, although it has already been defeated, yearns to poke and tempt followers of Jesus each and every day. It's an opponent we must be willing to fight every day, choosing to pick up our crosses and die to ourselves so the impeccable strength and hope of Christ may rise up and dwell within us (Luke 9:23).

When we pursue the hope of Jesus, we are pursuing life to the fullest extent—the only true experience of life that really exists. But when we pursue anything contrary to that of God's Word, we set ourselves up for failure, a failure where we would ultimately pursue death, sometimes without even knowing it.

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Don't be tricked into thinking the many temptations of this world can offer anything remotely close to the fulfillment and peace of Jesus. Because they can't, and they never will be able to live up God's intrinsic and bewildering design for humanity.

The battle for your heart includes:

  • Movies
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Advertisements
  • Fame
  • Materialism
  • Money
  • Television commercials
  • Billboards
  • Magazines
  • Social media

All of these things, although not always bad, can be used to tempt and persuade you to chase after something other than a life in Christ. Sometimes the temptation is obvious and in your face, but other times it may be packaged and disguised as something that can be justified because of emotion and feeling. Regardless of what or who is tempting you, the reality and importance of needing to guard our hearts remain the same. We live in a world where Jesus will never be accepted because He was never meant to be (John 14:7).

If we're not chasing Jesus, we're ultimately chasing death. Let us choose to pick up our crosses daily, pursue after the hope of Jesus and dedicate our lives to making much of Him and nothing of ourselves.

Jarrid Wilson is a husband to Juli, dad to Finch, pastor, author, blogger, founder of Cause Roast. He's helping people live a better story. For the original article, visit jarridwilson.com.

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