There was a Christian man who served God faithfully. One month, after paying his monthly bills, he found he was short on some cash. So he prayed to God to let him win the lottery. The next day he checked the paper only to find out he didn't win the prize. He prayed again; this time he put his heart into it. He promised the Lord that he would give the customary ten percent plus a five percent tip. He would also tithe ten percent of the interest he would accumulate on the prize. The following week came, and again no money for our companion. He is beside himself now. He promises the tithing arrangement as before, AND he will even babysit in the nursery and change all the diapers if God would just grant him this prayer. Next week comes, and no money. Our friend is furious now with the Lord and demands to know if God is deaf or ignoring him or just plain ornery. Then he hears a voice from Heaven saying, "BUY A TICKET!!!"
This humorous story speaks of a very serious problem that is affecting the body of Christ today. Some of our brothers and sisters are under the impression that our Lord is a cosmic sugar daddy. God has said he will provide for our daily needs, but that doesn't necessarily mean eating lobster every day for lunch and steak for dinner. After all, Israel was the apple of God's eye and He fed them manna while they in the wilderness. Manna is a Hebrew word that means, "what is it?"; an insult.
We should remember our postion in this relationship. God, our heavenly Father/Creator/Provider. We are his childern, not spoiled brats! We need to come to his table in awe, and be thankful we are there in his presence. Not demanding Him to give us what we think will fill our hearts, but let the LORD fill our hearts with what He wills.
If we fall for this type of theology, we fail to learn what sacrifice is, what obedience is, and most importantly, what the Father wills for our life. After all, we have been bought with a price. If we've been bought with a price, then we really need to listen to what our owner is telling us. Anyone who thinks God is a short order cook or our personal butler is unaware of His true nature. He is God, and should be feared, adored and worshipped.
Some fourteen years ago, the televangelists were in full bloom, making a total mockery of the body of Christ. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were selling timeshare condos and promoting a Christian theme park that was suppose to rival Disneyland; Oral Roberts was being held hostage by God for eight million dollars; Jimmy Swaggart got caught with a prostitute. What is the rest of the world thinking when today when we present the Gospel to a thirsty and dying world? They cover their wallets and purses and say they can't afford it. I don't blame them.
Let's be smart here for a moment. If we are promoting a gospel of wealth, then what will happen to the babes' new to the faith who are listening to one of these television ninety-minute wonders in leisure suits peddle their poison, when what they "wish" for doesn't get answered in the affirmative? It will be like yanking a newly sprouted sapling out of the ground. The shock to the roots is devastating, and there's a good chance that the tree might die even if it's replanted. The same will be true to the new sister or brother.
Common sense should tell you that if the bank won't honor the check, neither will the ministry. I do have this question for the charlatan who promotes this garbage; what if the babe new to the faith fails to get their "wish?" How do you encourage their fledging faith after it's been dashed on the rocks of reality? You accuse them of secret sin or not having enough faith. This isn't good theology, this is fraud. God will not honor anything that goes against His Nature. It's not that He won't, it's that He can't (Heb 6:17-18).
We need to be focusing on doing His will, not ours. About fifteen years ago, a good friend of mine was getting out of the Navy as a chaplain. He was an ordained Presbyterian Minister. He sent me his docier to submit to the local Presbyterian churches. He had heard through the gospel grape vine that there was a better chance stuffing a whale into a bikini than to get a pastorate in California.
The church I was attending was searching for an associate pastor to fill in for the retiring pastor. The search committee was almost ready to throw in the towel because none of the ministers they were interviewing fit the description of the kind of pastor they were looking for. I brought them my friend's docier and it was like a breath of fresh air. They offered him the job and he took the position. While there, he made some great ministries that were still going on even after he left to go pastor another church. What I'm saying is this: When we put our wills first it benefits no one. It even, in most cases, backfires on us. When we put the LORD's will first it benefits all of those around, including us. My friend was leaving this decision to the will of the LORD. He was willing to trust God with his life and career. I can attest to the ministry he set up there at the church, and the lives his ministry touched.
Let's start with doing the will of our Father, which is to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God. He will provide for us. He always had, and always will.
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