When my husband and I first went out as missionaries, I recall being concerned about the growth of materialism in our society. It never crossed my mind that I myself could be materialistic. After all, hadn’t we gone overseas with almost nothing? Weren’t we choosing to live in a shabbily furnished, rundown apartment? I thought materialism couldn’t touch us.
Nonetheless, feelings of discontent gradually began to take root in my heart. Before long I was craving hungrily after nice things and secretly feeling resentful over not having them.
Then one day God’s Spirit opened my eyes with a disturbing insight: Materialism isn’t necessarily having things; it can also be craving them. There I stood—guilty of materialism! God had exposed my discontent for what it was—an idol in my heart! That day as I repented of this subtle sin, God recaptured my heart as His rightful throne. Needless to say, a deep contentment followed, based not on things but on Him.
In Ezekiel’s day, God dealt thoroughly with this kind of secret idolatry. His throne on earth has always been in the hearts of His people. That’s why we must rid our heart of anything that destroys our contentment with Him.