The thing about using personal testimonies is that it requires a lot of anonymity, because those involved will take offense to the things said and written. Not that the testimony is false in any way, in fact, many will identify with the situation immediately and be hush about it. This testimony relates to people in authority over your life seeking to make your life more comfortable with material things, but in exchange they demand allegiance to their “doctrine,” “agenda,” or to their “service.” In essence, they seek to change what you do and say according to their expectations by obligating you to a “debt” that you owe them. Either a perceived debt or a real I.O.U. debt.
At a place where I am constantly present, I noticed two such occurrences having the same pattern. I was riding my bicycle in the winter months, and on one particular very cold day I was approached by a member of that place. That member offered to give me a car, free of charge, and all new parts put on where needed. I thought it was odd that they were almost begging me to let them do that for me. I did not hesitate to say “No!” They kept pursuing me to say “Yes!” but the next week when they asked again I said “No!” again. They replied, “Well, OK.” They didn’t seem very pleased. I refused because the Spirit of Goodwill is not with them so I questioned their motive. Then, a new person arrives, and just a couple weeks after he arrives he approached me and said, “Sam (fake name) gave me a new furnace for my house trailer.” He noticed my look of caution towards him. It comes about, one year later, he has to reluctantly get rid of his trailer. He was not the type of guy to follow someone else’s directives if it violated his living by what Christ did for him on the Cross.
Materialism is Satan’s way of evicting Christ Jesus from the Temple of God, which is our body, including our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. God is Spirit and those who serve Him serve Him in Spirit, not through things. The above incidents had the same things in common; opposition to the remission of sin and opposition to the reconciliation of the Temple to God. Satan attempts to kill the Spirit, and wanted to insert his agenda into the Temple of God to destroy what Christ has done for us on the Cross, and to make a mockery of the Holy Spirit. Satan will use physical comforts, money, things, and all sorts of materialism to keep your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in bondage to the sin nature. This is why we are told to come apart from the ways of the world…to reject materialism in favor of the Message of the Cross.
“Then said Jesus unto 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 will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26