I was just thinking about a time someone gave me a big box of chocolates. It was a few years ago but I still remember how excited I was. It was one of those boxes with the diagram inside the lid. Diagram. Treasure map. Samesies to me. Because: chocolate.
But something awful happened the next day. I got sidetracked and forgot to take the box out of the car. In the summer. A few hours in my oven-car and instead of a box of chocolates, I ended up with one big, sort of un-shaped, chocolate goo-glob.
Never leave chocolate in the car. Lesson learned. The hard way.
There are prized spiritual lessons that really are the greatest kinds of treasure though. So many great lessons of faith begin and burgeon in the word of God. I confess, I get frustrated with myself when I encounter a lesson in the faith, then just plain fail to learn from it. Messier than a goo-glob, that.
How it must break the heart of God when we choose the messy. When we’re slow to learn spiritual lessons, slow to respond and obey His word. First Peter 1:13-15 says, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (ESV).
The Amplified expands on the phrase in verse 14 this way: “Do not be conformed to the evil desire which governed you in your ignorance [before you knew the requirements and transforming power of the good news regarding salvation].” After we’ve learned the marvelous lesson of grace, why do we still find ourselves choosing the unprepared, un-soberminded—sort of unshaped way of life? To do so is to let the lost way of living shape us and form our behavior into something that’s the opposite of grace, and the opposite of holiness.
How about we prepare our minds for action instead, 1 Peter 1:13 style? Are you ready? Ready to embrace His way of grace and to commit to learning whatever lesson He has for you? Ready to choose obedience to His word? Ask the Lord to open your eyes to ways you might be conforming and shaping yourself in that old way of life. Ask Him to give you the power to choose the shape of holiness. He will. By the “transforming power of the good news” (1 Peter 1:14 AMP). It’s His Holy Spirit who will empower your new shape. It’s the most delicious way to live a life you can treasure forever. As a matter of fact, treasure doesn’t get any sweeter.
When it comes to temporary, chocolate-related treasure, I have to tell you, I made a fabulous discovery about that melted glob. Once it resolidified, I realized I could eat the entire box and honestly tell people I only had one piece.