“... store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
~Matthew 6:20-21 (NRSV)
We can reasonably expect a strong motivational pull toward the gaining of reward in this life. After all, it’s not only how the world works—people lining up in order to get what they deserve—rights argued for, even in church settings—it’s our sense of natural justice coming to the fore.
But human bestowed rewards—those which we take receipt of—are short-lasting; the blessing gets buried, there, in the moment. The unseen Spirit has no further license to work blessing into these situations.
The power of God works in secret. This is saliently illustrated in the project for change we initiate in the patience of faith—that which will allow God to bless us and others via kingdom-related results, whether here or in eternity; usually both.
Truly Hidden With Christ In God
There is a promise of golden investiture by the incorporation of a way of thinking and acting that permits God to hide us within the Lord’s own ends.
Whenever we read a passage like Colossians 3:1-4, noting what the new life in Christ looks like, we begin to understand, afresh, that all motives other than the divine are short-lived, perilous, and not worthy of God, other people, or ourselves. Such motives bequeath short payment—they bring a swift end to any power flowing via divine action.
An example of this is in the body of work; done for love and, therefore, for no other reason at all. Such a body of work is done for other people, sure, but the real motivation is pleasing God, for no other motivation is worthy of our divinely-sponsored acts of love; which all work can be powered by, in joy.
Getting Beyond Guilt And Selfishness & Onto Love
Those treasures we’re storing in heaven may be actual things or rewards we receive when we reach heaven, which is what Jesus has said (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18), but it’s what happens here that is of Jesus’ main concern.
When we are able to forget ourselves and our needs and wants, whilst we work, God is providing for those needs and wants. Our Lord rewards no one better than the cheerful giver.
A great blessing it is to ask these questions before, or whilst, we do anything: What am I really doing this for? Is it to please another person, myself, or God?
As we start asking these questions we may quickly find the first two are our default reasons; we have learned to operate out of guilt or selfishness and, in effect, we have negated the power of God in and through our lives via the things we can do for God, without thought of reward, in our day-to-day.
Pleasing God allows the process of spiritual blessing to take place; selfless acts procure for the giver the experience of spiritual harmony within: the love of God. The love of God loves us hardly better than by our witnessing the power of the Spirit resplendent in works done for God alone. We see the difference the Lord makes in people’s lives, each of which is a miracle.
The secret life of love, where our actions are motivated to please God, and not others or ourselves, is the manner of storing treasures in heaven. These are even redeemed here, where untold powers for spiritual joy unfold to the will of God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.