I’ll Just Take Cash
And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. Genesis 39:10
I once heard a minister on the radio brag of how God had rewarded him for his obedience with immense wealth and a private jet. I could share in the blessing, if only I would send him more money. His pitch was repulsive, but if I am honest, I often treat God in a similar fashion. I expect good things, maybe even cash, to come my way if I obey.
When life fell apart due to my addiction, I told God I would follow Him, if He would restore my life. When I pray now, I expect that God will do what I want, when I want. What good is following God if He doesn’t do for me?
We often believe in a God that serves us, and that following Him should have its rewards. He does reward us of course, just not always in the sense that we might expect.
Joseph, in today’s passage, was repeatedly propositioned by the king’s wife. He refused her advances, but what did he get for his obedience? He was sent to prison when she falsely accused him of assault. He would eventually be restored, but Joseph did not know that during his imprisonment. What gives God? I obeyed you and I went to prison.
We often think God will reward us exactly how we want if we obey. This is a little like being rewarded with a donut for eating healthy. God certainly may allow us good things in this life, but we are not guaranteed wealth when we follow. Rather, God rewards us with lasting, authentic peace and joy. When we draw near to Him, God fills us with His life. He is much more interested in growing our faith than our bank account. This often puts His plan at odds with ours.
If we follow God, just to be rewarded with the pleasures of this world, we are not practicing faith, we are just practicing self-interest.