I saw a cartoon the other day (pictured above) which made me smile.
At least I smiled for a moment – then I began to think about the message behind the picture. What started out as an amusing comment on the stage of allergens and food preferences made me think about how we treat things that God gives us.
We are happy to accept whatever He has for us, as long as it’s on our terms. We don’t want to feel like we are living by faith, but we don’t want to be too challenged. We are happy to experience the warm fuzzy feeling of His presence, but don’t want to be disciplined by Him. We are keen to worship Him ‘in spirit and in truth’, but the truth is that if it doesn’t fit into a couple of hours on a Sunday morning then we really don’t have time for Him.
The Christian life isn’t supposed to be a snack when we are hungry. It is a proper sit down seven course banquet. Of course we will find that the odd snack will keep us going for a bit, but the nutritional value will be limited. There is a promised land for each of us, but the only way we are going to possess it is if we are in peak spiritual condition. To be in the right shape, we must commit to the meal set before us.
I’ve written before about making sure that we feed ourselves and to not expect our church leaders to provide the only meal that we (spiritually) eat each week. In the same way, we must allow Jesus to provide all that we need. Some of what He provides may not be to our taste. It might lead us out of our comfort zones, taking us to places that we feel vulnerable.
Are you prepared to accept that the one who made you, knows best what you need? The bible tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
It’s not about worrying about whether we should sing hymns or songs, use the KJV or the NIV or whether we have pews or seats. It’s about whether we are prepared to say “Yes”, without question or hesitation. I remember years ago hearing a comedian describing a letter he had received. The conversation went something like this. “How much make-up should a Christian woman wear?”. He replied, “I don’t know sister, it depends on your face.” He went on to explain, that “in a world that is going to hell, we don’t have time to worry about Maybelline.”
The gift that He gave us is worth everything, and it’s free. Following Him on His terms means we get to things on earth as they are in heaven. Following Him means that we get to bring light to a dark world. Following Him means that there is nothing in front of us that we cannot beat.
Sticking with Him may get difficult, I’m not suggesting it won’t end in suffering, hardship and pain. We may see things we don’t understand, situations that we struggle to explain away. What I can promise is that surrendering without question is the only way to find the peace that you have been longing for.
If we believe that God is good then we can be confident that that which He supplies is going to be good, and good for us. Francis Frangipane once said, “too many of us attend church each Sunday, not to be filled with the Spirit, but to be inoculated with just enough religion to make us immune to God for the rest of the week.”
Let’s stop trying to be good church goers, lets start being disciples this Easter, following the one who rode into Jerusalem, hailed with shouts of Hosanna. Ready to follow Him wherever He leads, unconditionally, even if sometimes it feels like Friday night.
Sunday IS coming.