11 November, 2014

So, How's That Working Out For You?

I have a friend, who I love dearly who has been "struggling" to find God. I put that in quotes, because that is her word to describe where she is at. Let me say up front that I discussed this with her this morning as we were chatting online and I asked her for permission to use our conversations in my blog, so I'm not betraying a confidence. I'm not going to use any information that might even hint at who this person is... so please spare me the nasty messages about doing so folks. I have her blessing. I pretty well told her what I intended to write, and she is fine with it, so long as I don't "set her out there" by identifying her.   The thing is, as I have told her many times over the past several years, is that she is trying to "find God" on her terms. She wants God... or rather she wants the peace of God, the blessings of God and the assurance of Heaven, BUT... she does not want to let go of the things of the world. We've discussed this over and over and our conversation usually goes something like this. 
She will tell me how broke she is, how tired she is of being alone and feeling depressed.  She will say that she needs to get closer to God, and she knows it. 
I'll say to her, "So, what are you waiting for?"  Her response is typically to offer up several excuses, then to say, "I guess I'm just not ready yet." I'll ask, "What is it you are not ready for?"  We'll banter back and forth for a bit and I'll say, "You're not ready to give up control of your life... not ready to surrender."  She typically gets defensive here for a bit, but then admits that she is still trying to work out her own problems and trying to find the answers. And every time we reach this place, I will always say to her, "So, how's that working out for you?"  She typically fires back some half humorous, yet profane response back at me and then will add, "Why do you always have to be right?" My response is always something about how it is not me that is right, it is God's plan and standard that he expects.

At this point, many people will be ready to say, "Now you are getting religious!"  Let me say to anyone who feels this way, that religion has gotten a bad name and it is wrong. Let me be the first to say that what God desires of us is personal relationship. There is NO question about that. But we also need to understand that there are rules to that relationship. God's Word tells us that He is a jealous God and that He will not share His glory with another. Now, some might say they don't have another god, but hang with me for just a moment and I'll try to show you how that you do by using my conversations with my friend.

My friend and I have had this conversation more times than I can count, where she tells me how she loves God, loves Jesus and wants to please God. I'll say, "When is the last time you went to church?"  Rather than a direct answer she will tell me how she is just too tired on Sunday and that is her one day to sleep in. So I'll ask her why she does not try going to bed earlier on Saturday night so that she gets plenty of rest. Her response is that Saturday is the one night that she gets to go out with her friends and "let her hair down." (read "drink")  So I will say, "It is more important to you that you have your night out than going to worship God."  She will try to argue how that is not true, but the facts are clear. I'll ask her how much money she spends one or two Saturdays per month when she "lets her hair down". She has said many times that she really cannot afford what she spends, but this is her one source of enjoyment.  So, I'll point out that she is always complaining about how broke she is, always too tired to do anything on Sunday... and you can't see where the problem is?  (Here I get cussed at again.)  

The point to my friend and to anyone reading this is pretty simple... your love for selfish and worldly pleasure points to one clear fact... you worship yourself more than you worship God.  You can argue it all you want, but the fact that you choose those activities over worshiping God tells me who your god is.  You can argue that you love God all you want, but when you can't make time for God, then you don't love Him. How long do you think you'd stay in a human relationship if you treated that person the same way? There is no relationship there. Words do not a relationship make. Actions speak louder than words. If you love God, then make room for Him.  You can keep doing things your way, and I'll keep asking the same question: "So... how's that working out for you?"   

No comments: