Here is another deeply cutting thing the author points out. “It’s easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left. Hosea 13:6 says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving Him nothing. A mumbled three-minute prayer at the end of the day, when we are already half asleep. Two crumpled-up dollar bills thrown as an afterthought into the church’s fund for the poor. Fetch, God!”
Something about that “Fetch, God!” struck me. I was just thinking about my prayer life last night. I talk to God all day. I say quick little prayers throughout the day. But I would like to have a better prayer life. I do the little “three-minute prayer at the end of the day.” But I don’t ever really sit down and really seek God in prayer. It’s kind of like I walk with God and I talk about the weather, the economy, this and that. Things that you might talk about with anyone. But I don’t really sit down and get down and dirty personal. I don’t take time to devote some real petitions on behalf of other’s who have asked me to pray or who I said I would pray for. I say a prayer, but it is by no means a petition.
This author is very good at shining the light into blind spots. lol He references Malachi 1:8. Then he says, “Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view … they’re evil.” Let’s stop calling it “a busy schedule” or “bills” or “forgetfulness” It’s called evil.” Ouch!
The author guides us to where “Paul writes that even if “I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13:2-3. It really is all about love. We all know the love chapter and what the verses of 1 Cor 13:4-8, 13 say. But if I read that and I think of it like the baby walking and I take each part and I ask myself questions like, “Am I crawling in this area because it’s too hard to walk?” “Am I comfortable with the definition of this one that I have come up with on my own?” Maybe the real truth is that so many people don’t really know what all those words mean. It has been repeated so many times and people have come to read them words as they understand them instead of asking God what he means by them. So much is lost in translation, so much is common and comfortable.
The author makes the perfect analogy of life. He says, “If life is a river, then pursuing Chris requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.” LOL I love his city people version, “We are on a never-ending downward escalator. In order to grow, we have to turn around and sprint up the escalator, putting up with perturbed looks from everyone else who is gradually moving downward.” Now THAT is more real.
I think the author makes a good point. Where I spend my time, where my money goes, and where I invest my energy is equivalent to choosing God or rejecting God. Jesus IS going to spit out lukewarm people, like it or not. Now I just have to work at making sure I am not one of them. And based on the Great Commission, I have to take as many as I can with me.
Yep, this was definitely a hard chapter to read, but it will even be a harder one to live out in this stream of people coming down on the escalator of life.