We finished yesterday on being “weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness”—the pursuit of pleasure through escapism. The other portion of the verse warns us against being “weighed down with . . . cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). The first, through drunkenness and dissipation, attempts to escape from the cares of this life; the second, spurning the escape into dissipation and drunkenness tries the method of handling the cares of this life by dutifulness and self-discipline. The persons involved may be religious, which holds them to duty—discipline. They are in their religious selves and not in Christ, and hence they are care-filled, weighed-down persons. They are tense, anxious, and strained. Things present are always present, absorbing time and attention and life.
Note: Jesus put this being weighed down with the cares of this life in the same category as dissipation and drunkenness. It is the sin of the conscientious.
What is the remedy for both of these? It is simple. In both cases, there is a consciousness of being in yourself, hence of being in time. The remedy is to step out of yourself and out of time into Christ by self-surrender. Then when you are in Christ you are in eternal life. You are more conscious of eternal life than you are of temporal life. You have stepped out of a passing show into an Eternal Now. “Things present” are replaced by the “Thing Present.” You don’t run away from the things present—you relate them as subordinate to the eternal in Christ. They take their places on the margin of life; you have them in your control—they don’t have you. You use them—they don’t use you. You have separated them from the throne of your life by surrendering them to Christ, therefore they have no more power to separate you from Christ. In Him your values are straight—things are things. I submit not to things, but to Him.
O Jesus, Thou art my supreme value. I look into Thy face and I am no longer the servant of things. I am a servant of the Author of things. I can take little or much of things, for I have all of Thee. Blessed emancipation, glorious liberty! I thank Thee. Amen.
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY
There are two ways to be rich— one in the abundance of your possessions and the other in the fewness of your wants.