"Possessed By Possessions"
Recently, one of those blurbs at the end of an Internet news article invited me to check out the yachts and planes of the wealthy and famous. I hit the button, and was amazed that some people can afford to own luxury items valued higher than the cumulative lifetime incomes of a thousand average people.
Or do they? That is, beyond the legal definition of possession, do any of us actually own anything? Hardly.
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).
The yacht and plane possessors don't even own themselves! Everything in creation belongs to God. He made all things, including the components of the things we build. Thus, the One to whom Melchizedek referred as "the Possessor of Heaven and earth" is, in fact, the Possessor of Heaven and earth (Genesis 14:19). It is all His. However people may accumulate the things they seem to have in hand, whether through work, gift, investment, theft, or inheritance, the owner remains the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
I don't think a lot of the yacht and plane owners know this. Perhaps some do, and use the vessel they steward for the glory of God and the blessing of people. Most, however, likely believe that signing their name on a contract to purchase their plane or yacht transfers ownership to themselves, and perhaps to their heirs in time to come. However, how darkened is the heart of those that think they have much when in the most literal sense, they have nothing? Little wonder that possessions can choke the life out of people over time if they do not recognize that God made human beings to be good stewards, or caretakers of that which belongs to Him. Because we are terrible owners. "So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof" (Proverbs 1:19).
Possessions can be wonderful, productive, and useful tools when we acknowledge their rightful Owner and our rightful roles as the custodian of His goods. Conversely, possessions coil as serpents around the neck of all those who stamp "Mine" on that which is actually "His." I hope all the luxury yacht and plane "owners" come to realize that the serpent's venom of wrongly attributed ownership may seem sweet upon entering the soul. But it becomes dangerously bitter as it circulates throughout a heart poisoned by the possessions of which only One is capable of owning.
Of course, we do not have to be exorbitantly wealthy (as the world defines wealth) to be possessed by our possessions. Do we fret about the things we have, wondering if they might somehow slip through our fingers? Do we succumb to the temptation to believe that if we just had a little more or a little other, we could be more content? If so, we may have forgotten our stewardship. Thankfully, the Owner loves to forgive us of our audacity in believing ourselves to own His possessions. We don't. We never have, and we never will. The Possessor of Heaven and earth owns all, including ourselves. Be it a battleship size yacht or the last and only penny in our pocket, all belongs to the only One who can own things without being owned by them. Let us breath the sweet sigh of relief as we realize and remember such blessed truth. And let us pray for those folks possessed by their possessions.
"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing."
Weekly Memory Verse
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.