And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name. Isaiah 45:3
“A treasure hunter is a person who, as either a vocation or avocation, searches for sunken, buried, lost, or hidden treasure and other artifacts.” (Wikipedia)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a treasure hunter? To experience the perilous adventures of Indiana Jones or the table-turning transformation of the Count of Monte Cristo?
What would you do if you were given a treasure map to riches beyond comprehension and a guarantee that if you would do whatever it took to seek it out, you would find it? If you really BELIEVED it was true, what would you be willing to sacrifice and invest to make that happen?
Sunday night, we watched the movie National Treasure for the first time in years. After the movie, Jesse put on some of the extras, including one about modern day treasure hunters. As I watched, at first I was struck with amazement by their passion and pursuit. I wondered how much money they were spending on each expedition. I wondered how much time. It seemed some were “spending” their very lives (even losing their lives, as in this story I found about a modern day treasure hunt here in Colorado). But when they began to show some of the treasures they had found, I was then struck with a sense of sadness. While I’m sure some of it had historic significance, or monetary value, most of it just looked like “stuff.” Someone else’s old “stuff” who was now long gone. No matter how great it’s worth at one time to the original owners, it was now no longer of any value to them. They couldn’t take it with them when they left this life, and it certainly can’t help them where they are today (whether in eternal life or eternal death). Yet, now other people are consuming their lives and resources tracking down and digging that “stuff” out of dirt, sand, and sea. I realize that for some people, it’s an occupation; for others, a hobby. But I couldn’t help but wonder how many were wasting their entire lives on a trivial pursuit for things they may never find and that, even if they did, would no more benefit them in the end than they benefited others who at one time possessed them. But, it was late – and I was tired. Maybe I was thinking too much, getting too deep, or being overly spiritual and just needed to lighten up….
Moments later, as we went to bed, I was amazed by the Lord’s response to these swirling thoughts, through the word He gave us from Letter’s from God:
“I have bought you a Kingdom and purchased for you a glorious life. I paid with My Son. He gave His life and blood to purchase for you a destiny. It cost Us everything.
The value cannot be measured; it is beyond estimation. There is NO GREATER TREASURE THAT YOU COULD EVER SEEK, FIND, or WANT. The world longs for what I have bought for you. They spend their lives looking in all the wrong places. Life after life is wasted, searching in the coffins of false saviors and dead saints. They spend their life’s savings traveling and digging for the elusive fountain of youth, the holy grail, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They die looking, when what they want and need is standing right next to them. I AM the Desire of all nations. I AM the Missing Piece to the human heart. I AM the only One who can fill the black hole of the soul. I AM the Purchaser of your soul, bought and paid for with sacred blood and perfect obedience. …SPEND YOUR LIFE DISCOVERING THE TREASURE and spending your inheritance. Give it away and it automatically multiplies. There is an UNENDING SUPPLY waiting for your FAITH to UNLOCK.“
Wow! I love how often the Lord speaks to us through the movies and about the movies we watch, always reminding us that He is WITH US at all times, attentive to and interested in everything we do. And I love that He took this opportunity when our thoughts were turned to treasure hunting to remind us of the limitless treasures available to us in Him, and that Faith is the Key that will unlock the vaults of the glorious riches of our inheritance. (Maybe it’s time to go back to re-read the incalculable wealth series .)
That night this verse was also in our Scripture confessions:
Thus says the Lord to His anointed, … whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him, and I will unarm and ungird the loins of kings to open doors before him, so that gates will not be shut. I will go before you and level the mountains [to make the crooked places straight]; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron. And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name. Isaiah 45:1-3
And the next night, this Scripture:
We accept God’s words and store up His commands within us, turning our ears to wisdom and applying our hearts to understanding, we call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, we look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, therefore we understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (personalized from Proverbs 2:1-6)
After this, I realized that “treasure” Scriptures had been in our confession list in the days leading up to Sunday as well, before I had noticed this developing theme:
In Him (Christ) all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden. Colossians 2:3
He (The LORD) will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. Isaiah 33:6
It seems that God is immensely interested in treasure hunting. The fact that He uses this imagery lets us know that He has riches and treasures hidden away for us that will not be found by the casual or careless. Though they are undoubtedly God’s will for us to receive, they will not automatically come to us without effort. Discovering them will be the result of a deliberate and diligent endeavor. He has revealed to us through nature that gold, diamonds, and other precious metals and gems must be mined for. It will involve seeking, pressing in, and digging out. It will require our time, attention, focus, energy, commitment, concentration, patient persistence, and desire. He wants our lives to be consumed by this pursuit, as long as the treasure we’re seeking with such passion is Him, His Kingdom, wisdom, will, and ways. He has given us the map to limitless treasure and has guaranteed that if we seek with all our hearts, we will find it (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7-8, Hebrews 11:6). How will we respond to this invitation and opportunity? What will we be willing to sacrifice and invest to make sure it happens? As in the example at the beginning, if we really BELIEVE it’s true, we should be willing to do whatever it takes. Unlike the treasures of this world that people are giving their lives to find, this is not a treasure we will have to leave behind in the end, nor a treasure that will be unable to benefit us in the life to come. The benefit is for this life and the next (Mark 10:28-30 , Matthew 6:33).
In the movie National Treasure, Ben’s father had ceased to seek out the vast treasure he’d heard about his whole life because he had ceased to believe. Yet, despite his father’s bitter cynicism and discouraging disbelief, Ben continued to persist in his belief, to risk all in his pursuit, and was ultimately rewarded with a discovery that transformed his life and the world.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a [very precious] treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field [securing the treasure for himself]. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, and upon finding a single pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46
Yesterday, I shared with a friend that I’d fallen very far behind on reading Lana Vawser’s words (I had probably 6 wks or more of posts I hadn’t yet had a chance to read). This morning, I was awakened very early and though I certainly tried for some time, couldn’t get back to sleep. Since Lana’s posts were on my mind from the conversation yesterday, I eventually decided to get up and use the additional hours to try to catch up on some of those. Though there were posts both before and after her October 1 post that I needed to read, “for some reason,” I scrolled past other posts and stopped first on that one. Once again, I was utterly undone by God’s orchestration of confirmations when I saw that this word I began with said:
The Lord has been strongly impressing upon my heart in the last few weeks, the importance of writing everything down that He is sharing, speaking and releasing. …
A GREAT UNLOCKING
There was a great unlocking that was taking place in the stewardship of writing down all that He says, and to meditate upon what He was saying, a whole new realm of hearing from Him and discovering His mysteries and secrets of His heart was being opened wide.
I was ministering in Launceston, Tasmania yesterday and in worship I kept seeing God’s people in scuba diving equipment and they were going to the depths of what looked like a HUGE ocean and they were discovering TREASURE they had never seen or experienced before. As they were going down to the depths I heard Proverbs 25:2:
“God conceals the revelation of His Word in the hiding place of His Glory but the honour of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all God says.” (The Passion Translation)
Today, the Lord reminded me of that scuba diving vision and He said again “Write down all that I am saying and you will go deeper than you have ever been.”
There are new treasures, mysteries of God, revelation of His Word and secrets of His heart waiting for you. Chase after Him and His heart and steward what He is saying by continually writing it down, and rivers of refreshment will open up over you. …
Keep an account of all He is saying because out of that account I see a whole new depth of knowing Him and encountering Him, His heart and nature like never before and on the top of every page written in gold it says.. LIFE CHANGING!” (You can see the entire word here on FB)
I pray this is as encouraging of a confirmation to you as it is to us!! #WeHearYouLord #ThankYouJesus Hold on to these words as you keep pressing in for all God has for you. Don’t give up. Even if you feel you’ve already sought certain answers wholeheartedly for a long, L-O-N-G time – that you’ve “fished all night” without receiving the clarity you expected and that it’s time to just wash your nets and go home – I pray you’ll hear the Lord challenging you, against all natural wisdom and understanding, to launch out into the deep and let down your nets again. Lord, help us all to respond to this invitation in faith. No matter how great the temptation may be to give up in certain areas, may we all still say, “Nevertheless, because You say so, I will.” (from Luke 5:5)