It has come to my attention how entitled we humans think we are. But more specifically, us so called “Christians.” If we feel entitled to anything, then it is a contradiction to call ourselves a “Christian.” In the Bible, the Greek word for Christian is: Christiano meaning a follower of Christos (Christ). Christos means anointed/Messiah. If we are truly a follower of Christ than we should realize that we are entitled to nothing but death and punishment. We are not entitled to anything that God says he will provide for us. We are entitled to nothing that Jesus did for us. And we are entitled to nothing his death earned for us. Everything, EVERYTHING, has been freely given to us, yet we deserve none of it.
The only thing we can do is make a choice. We can either choose to receive or choose to reject. It’s all laid out on the table for us to freely take as we want, not even as we need, but as we WANT. How amazing is that. But somehow, many of us have gotten it into our head that the choice is whether to take what is on the table or not, but I do not believe that is the case. (Prior to making the choice whether to stay home or take a journey, we being with another choice, whether to follow Christ into the banquet hall or not. But for now, I’m talking about people who have already decided to follow Christ.) I have heard many, many Christians say, “God will provide,” or “God is for me,” or “God works all thing to the best …” blah blah blah. Really? You think so? I don’t. You know why? God HAS provided, God WAS for me, and God DID what was best. But none of it is present tense. No, I’m not saying God isn’t anymore or he isn’t providing anymore. Just hang on for a bit longer.
We are entitled to nothing God has done. Unless we choose to follow Christ which mean walk in HIS ways and not our own, we can’t even get into the banquet hall, let alone eat from the table that HAS been prepared for us. God is always sitting their waiting on us. But if we choose to walk our own path, live the way we want, do what we want, then that is exactly what we will get – what we can get for ourselves.
God doesn’t always provide what we want Him to, but He always does what is right. We just think we are entitled to him providing for us in the way we ask Him to. We all hang our hats on the verse like,
Matthew 21:22 – “…whatever things you ask in prayer”
John 14:14 – “If you ask anything …”
1 John 5:14 – “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything. …”
John 15:7 – “you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
And many more.
But we tend to read over the parts that say,
Matthew 21:22 – “believing”
John 14:14 – “in my name”
John 16:23 – “in My name”
1 John 5:14 – “according to His will”
John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you”
We like to skip over the IFs, THENs, BUTs, and WHENs. We like to skip over our parts of those verses. What we don’t realize is if we aren’t careful, we can become prodigal sons of God. When we don’t walk in His ways, don’t spend time with him, don’t listen to his direction, we are prodigal sons. When we do that, we can not wield His name around, we can not eat at His table, and we can not enjoy His riches – UNTIL. Until we return home. Look at this (Luke 15:11-32).
No one provided for the prodigal son. He threw a fit and wanted to leave, he couldn’t stand living at home anymore. His father gave him his inheritance and let him go. God has given us our inheritance when he gave us Jesus. That’s it, he HAS. He HAS provided for us, he HAS completed the work and given us our share. And now, he has let us go. Go on now son, do what you want to do. Do what ever you want with the gift I have given you. And sometimes, we take it and leave home, looking for what we want out of life.
The son undisciplined and dissipated, wasted everything he had. He got assigned to fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any. Does that sound like your life? I know it sure sounds like mine sometime. It’s because the table that we want to eat from, is waaayyy back there in the banquet hall where the Father is sitting. Do we really expect delivery service? Yeah, Right! You see, God WAS for us. After all, if he wasn’t for us, would he have given us our inheritance? But we walked out of that home and are living life the way we want. We are taking what he HAS given us because he WAS for us and are blowing it on trivial things.
That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. HAHA! Be honest, you know you’ve done this. “Why do they get everything?” “Their life seems so blessed, why doesn’t God ever help me out?” But God DID. He DID help us out, remember, the cross, Jesus, sacrifice?? But you see, all that, it’s all back home. Those people are getting all that because they are living at HOME!! They can walk up to the table because they aren’t hundreds or thousands of miles away! We have chosen instead to take what God HAS given us because he WAS for us, so much so, that he DID what was necessary and we are looking at others with jealousy because they were smarter than us and are still back home enjoying all of it.
The son said, I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ THIS prodigal son got something that we seem to overlook because we feel entitled. He didn’t skip over the IF, BUT, WHEN. He realized IF he had stayed, he would have been eating at the table. BUT he chose to leave and that is WHEN he ended up in the slop. He recognized his mistakes and was ready to repent from them. He did not come home with a sense of entitlement. He did not expect his father to provide for him again. He was ready to be put to work to earn his keep.
When he returned home, his father met him with opened arms. BUT notice the father did not go out after the son. The father did not provide for the son. And the son returned home humbly, ready to accept whatever the father was willing to give to him. Because he was humble, and because he was willing to repent and change his ways, he was able to walk right back in and eat from the table his father provided. In looking at it this way, this isn’t about someone who is not a Christian, it is someone who is already a Christian, a wayward child. So we can walk back home, ask for forgiveness and eat from the table. But anytime we choose to walk away from home, we are on our own again. All the provisions are at home, not out on the road.
Sometimes God, our father, will allow us to find ourselves starving and working in the pig slop, all the while he is sitting there with open arms, waiting for us to return home. There is no guarantee he will provide for us, there is no guarantee he will force us home, the only guarantee is that he will do what is best for us. However, he has already did all the work he needed to through Jesus Christ. He has already provided everything we need in him. BUT, if we choose to live in sin (the pig slop), then we don’t choose Jesus (home). We can have what God HAS given us because he WAS for us, so much so, that he DID what was necessary IF we stay at home, BUT we have to choose home and WHEN we do, we sit at the table with the father and enjoy his provisions.
It’s either Jesus or Sin. Francis Chan did a good teaching on this, I transcribed it on my blog. Kill or be killed. You either kill your sin or it will kill you, period.
So all of us “Christians” really only have one choice to make – Kill or be Killed. There are consequences to both choices, you can’t blame anyone else for those. But we are ENTITLED to nothing. God HAS, God WAS, and God DID give us everything we need, IF we stay home to receive it.
So, where are you? Are you out on the road or are you home?