People have this notion that God is a year-round Santa Claus in the sky, and if you “follow” Him, you’ll get whatever you want. If you go to church more than twice a year and hang a Footprints plaque on your wall then God will be on “your side”. The result is greedy, selfish christianity. Christians in America have taken a little bit of the Bible, mixed it with some superstition and sprinkled their horoscopes on top and come up with some sugary mess that they call christianity, it’s tasty, but it’s just a theological cavity waiting to happen. It may sound good on sympathy cards but all this sort of “faith” does is set us up to be disappointed by God. I talked in my last post about people thanking and blaming things on God that He didn’t actually play any part in… and this is sort of the flip side of that discussion, what is it that God really want’s to do for us? What did He actually promise us and what can we expect?
People are very quick to say that God has blessed them when things go well for them. They’re also very quick to say God doesn’t exist when things go bad, or if they’re more “spiritual” they may say that Satan is attacking them. Both sides are just as absurd. Some people call it a blessing when they get a parking space close to the door or when the price of gas drops a nickel… and that they’re being punished when the Dr. gives them bad news, a family member passes away or someone hits their car with a chopping cart.
God and Satan are not good and bad luck and they don’t play with karma. Yes, God loves you and Satan hates you. God does know what’s best and Satan does want to hurt you, but the real danger comes when we start to interpret every microscopic aspect of our daily lives into some epic good vs evil war over our happiness. Jesus did not come to earth and die on a cross to make you happy, he came to make you holy, to redeem you from your sins. Satan doesn’t try to make you miserable, in fact, I believe he spends a lot of time doing just the opposite! God doesn’t shower us with money, fame, power or any of the other things most folks equate with happiness… but Satan does. If you’re happy with your money, you will stop seeking God. If you are happy in your big house, why would you worry about Gods mansions? Satan deals in comfort and contentment… God deals in open heart surgery… breaking people open and wrecking their lives.
Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these will be added… we should not seek happiness, we should seek holiness and closeness to the Father… thats the only way to happiness. The Bible says that God will give us the desires of our hearts, but it also says that He will change what we desire to align with what He intends to give us.
Stop praying for God to give you things or to make you happy! Pray that God will change your heart and will to match His! If God chooses to allow you to suffer, rejoice in that! He is working in your life and He will not abandon you! When something happens that you don’t like, open your eyes! It may not be Satan tearing you down, but God clearing away something that’s in His way.
Satan will give you a parking spot by the door every time you go to the store if that’s all it takes to win your heart. You want a million dollars? That’s pretty cheap for a soul. A big house? Health? Important friends? Fame? Satan’s pockets are pretty deep when it comes to petty things like these… Satan can give you all the happiness you can handle, but God promises so much more than happiness… He promises joy and peace, salvation and eternal life… at the end of a road of suffering, work and pain…
Let’s open our eyes and run some things by Scripture and our common sense before we start throwing around words like “blessing” and “curse” and thanking and blaming God or Satan. God knows what’s best for you, and sometimes that means bankruptcy or cancer, a rainy day or bird poop on the windshield. Satan knows how to tear you away from Jesus, and sometimes that means money, comfort, friends who always tell you what you want to hear or just no worries.
Let your faith become deeper than your circumstances.