Thursday, June 18, 2009
God is not a means to an end ...
One of the ways many Christians disappoint themselves --- and create a disappointment with God --- is putting upon God inappropriate and unbiblical expectations.
"If I do this, then God will do this" is the fallacy of the thinking:
"If I am faithful, then God will ..."
"If I serve in the church, then God will ..."
"If I tithe, then God will ..."
"If I put God first, then God will ..."
"If ... if ... if ..."
We think if we do all the things we know God would desire of us, then God will do certain things for us.
But not always.
Sometimes even the most faithful suffer.
Moses hung in there with the griping, complaining people of Israel, only to be denied the blessing of entering the Promised Land.
God allowed Joseph to be thrown into a pit, falsely accused, and thrown into prison.
David's family fell apart ... big time!
Paul was beaten, stoned, imprisoned and killed.
Sometimes, when we do everything God wants, the outcome isn't always what we want. But it will always be what God wants!
It's important to remember that God is not a means to an end!
God loves us without end, and cares for us more than any human ever could. Yet His ways are His ways, and they are designed to bring glory to Him with a final outcome of being in our best interest as well. However, that may not be what we want, when we want, or even in this lifetime.
Peter asked Jesus directly what was "in it for him" regarding following Jesus:
"27 Then Peter said to him, 'We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?' 28 Jesus replied, 'I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then," Matthew 19:27-30.
Applying human expectations to a perfect, limitless God will lead to disappointment. Instead, let God be fully God in your life, embrace the blessings He gives, and know for certain that the end result will be far greater than you could have ever hoped for!
"20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen," Ephesians 3:20-21.