I started my day today with a post on social media about our Sunday service and before I exited to go back to my word document I noticed in the feed a post that caught my attention. It caught my attention for two reasons: First, I know the person and a little bit about their recent story. They had been deeply saddened by a lack of relationship or maybe better said, they were lonely and wanted a relationship wth the opposite sex. At the time I spoke with this person they were deeply frustrated in past relationships and possibly even a bit upset that God had not brought the right person into their life.
Second, I remember praying for them about the situation and the focus of the prayer was that God would be first in the life of this person I was praying for and that the person God would bring would be a believer, someone who was deeply devoted to Jesus. Fast forward several months later and I see this post:
“I can’t get enough of h__, sorry not sorry ...i love knowing I get to see h__ face first thing in the morning & at the end of each day”
I am not using any names or even giving out the identity of this individual but as a follower of Jesus and a spiritual leader/Pastor, I am alarmed at how often what we want is more important than obeying God. We value our opinions, our feelings, our emotions, our judgement higher than God’s. We believe we are right and have the right to do what we want to do.
“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the Lord.
30 They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.” (Proverbs 1:24-31)
We are unimpressed by scripture like the one above. Why? Because we want what we want we believe we deserve to have our longings fulfilled and who is GOD to deny us anyway. As a pastor I feel as if most of my teaching time is spent trying to convince people they need to obey God’s Word. That should be a given! He is GOD and we are not. He created everything that “is”, including us. How is it that we think we know better than Him?
As a pastor I see, on a weekly basis, the train wreck sin brings to humanity. A young woman with two small children who has taken a beating from the father/boyfriend and finally mustered the courage to leave. A man or woman who does not love God cannot love you. The man who came into my office last week whose addiction has crushed the love out of his wife. He is broken and now homeless.
I fear we have convinced ourselves that God is our emergency fall back plan. What we neglect to recognize is that God does not work for us. He is not our employee. We are His creation. We breath His air. We live on His planet. We are subject to His commands.