Our spiritual treasure is a supernatural, living treasure. When we ask, He opens our our hearts to desire it and our eyes to see it, so we can receive it.
Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18)
The notion of ‘treasure’ is one that captures us from early childhood and pursues many people even through adulthood. There are many who have dreamed of discovering treasures and riches, and followed the dream to their death. The desire for treasure or wealth has caused greed, bloodshed, betrayal, and death. While not everyone turns to piracy or obsesses over hidden treasure, the sheer number of people who purchase lotto tickets is evidence that it’s a pursuit we never entirely lose. If only mankind would apply this same obsessive desire to spiritual treasure.
Life is a spiritual treasure hunt.
Somewhere inside every single human being is a spiritual hunger that refuses to be silenced. Mostly, we turn to the ‘treasures’ of the world to meet this need, especially if we’re unsaved. It’s little wonder that the Bible raises the conflict between love of God and love of money as a battle for mastery. Because we’re human, we like to see and touch. It’s reassuring. Material wealth is tangible and measurable, which is one of the reasons why we pursue it so relentlessly. It provides a visible measure of security and satisfaction. While we’re focused on what’s ‘real,’ we can believe that spiritual treasure is irrelevant.
An interesting truth, however, is that even those who possess the greatest wealth never lose that deep inner drive for ‘something bigger’ or ‘something deeper’ or ‘something higher.’ Consider how many of the rich and famous have been found dabbling in things ranging from the mildly esoteric to the blatantly occultic. That’s because we are created in the image of God. God is Spirit so we are spirit also – the ‘life’ that is in is His Spirit, His breath. We were created to worship Him and have intimacy with Him. Since the fall, man’s spirit has searched for that which we lost. Spirit always calls to spirit, and from the day we are born our lives are a spiritual treasure hunt.
Material wealth will never replace spiritual wealth.
The world, of course, will disagree with this statement. For someone who believes they have everything they need, the notion of spiritual treasure is laughable. Those who still aspire to ‘having it all’ have much the same response. Who has time to ‘play’ with things that don’t really exist when there’s so much out there to be chased after? The visible, the tangible, the measure is what humanity believes will provide the answer for the need buried within.
It’s important to understand that material ‘treasure’ isn’t simply having billions in the bank – or a good chunk, depending on what we manage to accumulate. It includes possessions, indulgences, and relationships – the things that ‘belong’ to us for one reason or another. These are the buffers we put in place to deaden the longing. They provide the distractions we need to keep believing that spiritual treasure has no relevance. A frenetic over-indulgence and sometimes even hedonistic lifestyle is, however, simply the evidence that the spirit does not recognise material ‘band aids’ for what is a deep-seated spiritual loneliness.
Material and spiritual treasure both demand effort.
Both these possible ‘solutions’ share a single incontrovertible truth. They must be sought. We have to participate in the process – identify, track down, and go out and get them. Even being born with the proverbial silver spoon still requires involvement in the process of growing and keeping the material treasures. The reality of life and human disposition is that we go after what we want. It’s an innate drive for self-gratification that we’re born with and never lose. Self wants to be satisfied. In the same way, spiritual treasure will never be found unless we’re committed to seeking it.
It’s amazing how we’re willing to go out and expend endless energy, effort, commitment, and resources on acquiring material treasure but find reading the Bible ‘hard work.’ Most people would happily dig with enthusiasm for the buried treasure they know is there or even believe is there. And it’s not just non-believers who fall into this trap. But while we’re willing to take on dirty, back-breaking effort, Bible study is written off as not worth the effort. We push long hours for that promotion or increase or bonus, but avoid the Word of God. Unless we are willing to commit the same degree of effort, we will never acquire spiritual treasure.
Spiritual treasure is a rare and precious thing.
While the world offers seemingly endless opportunities to gather material treasure, spiritual treasure has only one source. At face value, this should simplify the process. Instead, it turns our conventional approach inside out. It’s too simple, or too rigid, or even too foolish. Especially in a ‘spoilt-for-choice’ generation, the notion of a one-and-only treasure is restrictive. With so much else available out there, why should we be forced to limit ourselves to one? Instead of celebrating beautiful truth that we already know where to find it, we resent not being able to acquire it on our terms.
Spiritual treasure is rare and precious because it’s invisible and intangible. We cannot boast of it or display it as a sign of our success. It’s precious because it is of God, a revelation of Himself, and it’s rare because it can only be found by those who truly search for it. The value of spiritual treasure is that it restores what was lost, releases what is promised, empowers by grace, and effects supernatural transformation. It seems almost unbelievable that something so precious should also be so rare.
A common misconception about spiritual treasure.
The reason for the lack of spiritual treasure among so many believers is our own misunderstanding. We understand it using the logic and wisdom of the world. Because we have to put the effort in – actually discipline ourselves and read the Bible – the idea is that the effort is all hours. Like most things that God requires of us, however, ‘digging’ for spiritual treasure really means losing self. That’s the real effort, because self is our greatest handicap. It means, quite simply, making the decision and exercising the discipline to commit to study God’s Word.
Today’s verse highlights the beautiful truth that puts our effort into proper perspective. We dig by asking. We don’t have to make it happen all on our own. Our limited human abilities are simply not capable of understanding spiritual treasure. No amount of hard work and effort on our part can ever change this. While spiritual treasure is freely available to those who seek it, only God can actually ‘make it happen.’ This is for a single, simple, but powerful reason we all too often miss because self will fight it every step of the way. Self wants to boast of its own prowess and ability. It wants importance of self-achieved ‘success.’ The very notion that it cannot is sufficient to set self against the pursuit of spiritual treasure. That is why it requires so much effort and ‘hard work.’
Our spiritual treasure is God Himself.
John 1:1 says this: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God’s Law is God’s Word, which is the revelation of God Himself. His Law isn’t some list of arbitrary rules. It is who God is – He manifests or reveals Himself in His Law. The ‘wondrous things’ are aspects of God – He reveals parts of Himself as we journey deeper into His Word. It is a lasting and faithful treasure. When all else passes away, God’s Word will still remain because it is Him. Our spiritual treasure is the great I AM.
Our humility and God’s grace release spiritual treasure.
We must always remember that it’s an instinctual, deeply-rooted hunger that inspires and drives this quest. But for His Spirit calling to our spirit, there would be nothing to draw us. If we come in humility, asking Him instead of pursuing our own agenda, He will gladly release Himself to us. His grace is the path to discovering spiritual treasure. It is also the power for discovery. It is only because God is in His Word that it is living, vital, dynamic, and supernatural. When we call, our treasure responds. It comes to meet us and reveals itself abundantly. God has already poured Himself out. We need only ask that He open our eyes to see what He has already freely given.
Thank You, Lord, that You have given Yourself as our spiritual treasure. Help us to seek beyond the ordinary things of the world. Stir up a hunger and thirst and draw us into the word. Guide us and empower us to remove self from the search. Open our eyes and our hearts, and teach us daily to seek only You.