Reading The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer I came across the following passage as Tozer was talking about replacing God with things.
There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns “my” and “mine” look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution. Our Lord referred to this tyranny of things when He said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
This reminds me of Romans 1:25 which says, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” We are so quick to replace God with the gifts from Him.
How would parents feel if their children only wanted to be around them because of the gifts the parents give? Yet we do this with God so often.
I shared this Tozer passage with a friend on the morning I read it. He commented that the word “thing” is such an empty sounding word. It is a generic, non-descriptive word that means everything and nothing all at once. Yet we crave these “things.”
Are you in love with God, or just the things He allows you to posses.