If You Loved Me God…
Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
I know it is immature to do so, but sometimes, when I am frustrated, I lash out at God. When my phone dies at an inconvenient moment or I cannot find my keys, I become aggravated and I ask God to fix my situation. Then, when my keys do not magically appear, I have the audacity to get angry at God. Why God? If you loved me…
We often treat God this way. We believe him to be in control, so He at least allows everything to happen. We believe He is all powerful, so we know He could intervene on our behalf, if He wanted. Following God means that we should be wealthy and healthy, right?
This fantasy about God does not come from the reading the bible nor from observing reality. It is nothing but an invention of our flesh nature. It is what we want God to be, because deep down, we are still focused on what we want. We try to follow God, but in our self-interest, we twist him into a genie-in-a-lamp that exists for our comfort.
In reading the story of Jesus’ birth, I must wonder if Joseph and Mary felt this way. They followed God. He was working out his miraculous plan to bring Jesus into the world and they were going along with it. So, why did God not arrange a place for them to stay while in Bethlehem? OK, God. We are following your orders here. Would it be too much to ask for a room in the Inn? The barn? Seriously?
It seems that God often uses humble people and circumstances to bring about his will. It is not that God is not interested in what is best for us, it is just that our version of what is best is very different than God’s. We think our joy and happiness lie in the good life. God however, does not seem to care much about the desires of our flesh nature.
He arranged for his own son to be born in a barn and placed in a feeding trough. When He sent the angels to proclaim Jesus’ birth, He did not send them to priests or dignitaries. He sent them to shepherds (my apologies if you are a shepherd).
Throughout the bible, God used humble people and circumstances. It seems that He is pleased to use those who are not successful or self-sufficient. Those who find themselves successful often have no need of God and therefore are not useful to him. God does not use the shiny things of earth to draw people to the things of heaven.
Following God does not mean I will have all the desires of my flesh met. It, in fact, probably means the opposite. It does however, mean that God will work out what is best for me, even when I cannot see it.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.