Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Loving God More Must Be More Than A "Want" ... It's A Command

…being justified freely by His grace… —Romans 3:24

We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God through our own efforts. We must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest spiritual blessing we receive is when we come to the knowledge that we are destitute. Until we get there, our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us as long as we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves." Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest

As Christians we live our lives on this earth with a tension between the spiritual and the natural.  The preaching of the earthly health and wealth gospel … God wants you to be rich and healthy … is the carnal Christian's attempt to resolve that tension.  The idea is that God will give you money .. which He tells you not to love … and health .. which He tells you that you will face affliction and hardship of many kinds … and so … you can really be independent of God .. all of your earthly needs will be met … do you see the heresy in this?  God wants us to give up our dependence upon earthly comforts and assurances and trust Him, alone.  There is a difference between depending on something and having it. When Job lost everything, the assumption was that he had done something wrong .. why?  Because he lost his earthly possessions. What was the truth .. there was something spiritual at work that superseded the natural.  The same is true in our lives.  The thing is, you must be willing to submit to that … to yield your devotion and dependence upon the natural and trust God's provision.  What do you hunger for?  I see people struggling after disasters and war and poverty, while Americans are trying to figure out if they should go ahead and buy that $1000 iPhone and get rid of their $700 iPhone.  The Church in the United States is the “frog in the pot” with respect to materialism.  We don’t know that we are being cooked … instead, we think the water temperature is just right.

I have been watching the Black Friday phenomenon  .. which it seems has crept into Thursday.  While I am trying to find money to help people recover from Hurricane Harvey and people are spending money – hand over fist – to satisfy their lust for more – because they certainly don’t need it – not really.  With respect to the rest of the world, I think it is safe to say that 99% of what we buy is to satisfy our wants.  Our needs were met a long time ago.   We are trying to get masks to people who have none and can't afford them - and people with the means are wondering what color and style they should buy.  Something that will go with their outfit. (Psalm 37:4) "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart"  The emphasis here is on our focus on God and His changing what we desire to conform to what He desires.

 “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:2-4

Ugh! That does not leave a lot of wiggle room does it. I guess I should quote Jesus to bring this to a close.  (Matthew 13:14-16) “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear" .....  And I would add .. He who is convicted – let him repent.”  Pray about it!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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