Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Irreverence and our warped view of God.
Oftentimes, we forget from where God picked us up. There are sinners today who will become saints tomorrow, whether we like it or not. All these details are things hidden from us as humans but because we want to have our way by all means, we throw prayers to the god we can control to do our bidding.
It is not only in our prayers that our irreverence shows, it also shows in our preaching. Many of us no longer lead people to faith in Christ; we lead them to faith in ourselves. We no longer point men to Christ, we point them to ourselves. When we speak, we do not speak as servants and oracles of God, we speak as gods. We no longer lead men to worship God, we lead them to worship us and other men. We make all kinds of claims and erroneously quote Scriptures out of context to buttress what we are saying. However, when we do all these, it only shows our level of irreverence.
It equally shows in our lifestyles. We just roll with the worldly tide and live lives that have no checks and balances and still think that it does not matter. We live as though we are the ones that will be on the judgment seat on the last day and not God. We behave as if we are the ones that set God’s judgment standard. We do whatever we want to do with all liberty, without any recourse to God and His word and do not care. People cheat others and exploit only to bring their tithes to church with the mindset that they are doing God good – He needs money so they give Him the money He needs. We dupe people in business, lose all integrity and it does not bother us. In our families, work and business places, we hurt people and do not have good testimonies before people and we seem to wear the seal, “whether you like it or not, I’m born again”. Our attitude is as if there is no day of reckoning.
The truth is that we create the image of the kind of god we want to serve and worship, and set out with the kind of lifestyle we expect him to accept. We pray to him the way we want and tell him what we want – a god that has no reverence. We indeed preach about the god we have created and we rightly live as those who dictate to him what happens. The truth also is that this god we created in our minds and psyche must be an idol and not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, are you serving the God of Israel or are you serving an idol you have created?
If you want to serve the Living God, let His fear show in all you do; “as he said through his holy prophets of long ago,…to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” Luke 1:70-75 NIV. Serve Him all your day. God bless.
Irreverence and our warped view of God.
Over emphasizing an attribute of God at the expense of His other attributes does not make God better. The bible never uses a comparative word on God’s attributes. They are absolute and definite. For example, singing about God’s goodness and confessing that He is love cannot make God good or better. It cannot make God to love more. He is good and He is love essentially. We cannot add anything to God neither can we subtract from who He is. When we make confessions and sing certain songs, we help and edify ourselves and not God, no matter what we do. He rejoices in our fellowship not because He has a need; not because we have made the fellowship meeting sweet or decorated the place to look nice but solely because He has chosen to dwell in the praises of His people. Fellowship is very important to God. The gathering of His people is a special convocation. This is because it is in such a fellowship that God dwells.
Having said that, it is good for us to note that there is nothing we do in this life that is doing God a favour. Many of us live as if we and God are in a game of chess. Doing what we ought to do is seen as if we are only being kind to Him, as if without us He cannot be God. We live and talk as if God is God only at our mercy; as if we and God come with our bargaining chips and trade on what happens in our lives and the lives of others; that is, God places His cards on the table while we come with our own too. In fact, we even behave as the side that has the upper hand. God must bow to our pressure and do what we want Him to do for Him to remain God.
It shows in our prayers. Do we really pray? What is prayer? When we pray to God, what do we tell Him? Do we speak like children in the presence of their Father and King or do we speak like kings on our thrones who demands God to do whatever we want Him to do? Do we show reverence in our hearts, bringing our helplessness, hopelessness, limitations, needs, challenges, uncertainties, fallibility and incompleteness to Him who is enough for us and without whom we are nothing? What is prayer and how do we pray? Do we just come and throw words at Him, exercise ourselves and sweat and come out with the feeling that we have prayed? Is that really prayer? A brother once was coordinating a prayer session and asked the people to repeat after him, “my father, my fire…”. I later asked him, “why are you saying ‘my father my fire’? Where did you learn that from? What do you really mean?” He couldn’t proffer any answer. I discovered that because he shouts and encourages the people to shout in their prayers under an emotionally charged atmosphere, he feels good and satisfied that he has led a very hot prayer session. We feel good but do not care how God feels. What we easily forget is that our declarations in prayers are never towards God but towards Satan and his cohorts, our lives, circumstances.
You know, the environment many of us come from is still affecting us. We view God the same way a native doctor views his god, because of our idolatrous backgrounds. A native doctor can use his god or ask him to do good or to do bad depending on his mood and what he wants. Oftentimes, that is our approach to God when we come to the place of prayer. We have a God we use and not a God we fear and worship. We have a God we send on errands, who serves our interests and not a God we serve and who is sovereign. We come to Him with our shoulders raised high instead of bowing in humility.
He has promised to answer our prayers not at the expense of anything. He answers our prayers because He has promised to do so and delights in our fellowship. We cannot even explain that but He has chosen to relate to us that way because He loves us. There are no specific words that impress God. There are no holy places anymore, where you must go or face for Him to answer. There are no postures that give you an express ticket to His presence. That is why it is not in our eloquence or crafty use of words that make Him answer. I have seen God answer prayers even though the person praying used bad English. Our motives, intentions, hidden agendas and life follow our prayers, hence God looks beyond our good and nice and correct English words.
Now, are we really praying when we ask God to kill people? This high hand with which some of us come to God only shows our pride, ego, bitterness and unforgiveness. We curse in prayer and send out arrows to harm people in prayers and still think that we are fellowshipping with God. We see ourselves as very special to the extent that we can use God to achieve whatever we want to achieve. We think that we can move God to show one of His attributes over the others just because of us. Unfortunately for us, that is impossible. It is having an incorrect view of God. For example, God cannot, because of His children, be unjust to the unbelievers. Furthermore, some people we see today as unbelievers are tomorrow’s saints...