Guest Post by Pastor Steve
People quit all the time. What’s the big deal? When things get tough, quitters leave.
It’s easier, I suppose, to start again. At least, it may be easier to run from the problems than to square off and face them.
The problem with problems is that, unless you deal with them, rarely do they go away by themselves. So whatever the root of the problem is, unless we deal with it, the problem will still exist typically manifesting itself more aggressively.
People quit things all the time. Some are good things to quit like smoking or getting drunk. Other things we quit like exercise, or living a balanced life, are detrimental to our health. People quit jobs, people quit relationships and some quit God.
How Can a Person Quit God?
How can a person say that they quit God? That depends on how they view God. If a person only seeks God to get something from him; if God does not come through for them, the exact way that they want, they discard God from their lives. This is a dangerous proposition.
God does not live to serve us. He is not concerned with our comfort or material success. God is more interested in who we are becoming than how we feel about the circumstances of life. Yes, God is in control but that does not mean that he is at our beck and call.
God sees the whole picture. While we focus on the gnat, he sees the camel. We may never know the amount of pain that he has prevented from coming to our front doors. But we tend to lose focus when we look at the problem and stop looking at him.
Some question God’s love because of the difficulties that they are facing. Listen, if it takes 10 years to get you back on track, it’s better than wasting an entire life chasing after the wrong things.
Still there are those who want their own way, no matter the price. They want to live the good life here and now without doing the hard work that is required. I would love to receive a gold medal. My problem is that I refuse to commit to the 12 hours every day of my life to perfecting my game. For this same reason, I will probably only become a mediocre musician, since I only practice a couple hours each week or every other week.
Life requires hard work and sacrifice. This is the cost of admission. Some are robbed of this vital lesson by ‘good intention’ enablers. These are the parents that bail their children out of everything, which does not produce better citizens. We can not go to school for someone and expect them to get good grades.
If we do not use our muscles, they turn to flab. It’s only when we will regularly use our muscles that they serve their intended purpose and become healthy. That requires hard work and discipline. Our faith muscles are no different.
Our faith is trusting God, whom we can not see, to protect us from what we do not know. We do not know the future. God does. We do not know what happens after this life. God does. He literally wrote the book of life and he is the author of life.
Make no mistake, God does not need any of us. But he chooses us. We can never be good enough to earn his love. But he offers it freely. But be careful not to define God’s love based on what we want or how we feel.
Remember the Need, Remember Why
If it were entirely up to me, I would have never worked a day in my life. I would have traveled the world and eaten bacon at every meal. Chances are also excellent that my life would have ended prematurely. I may have lived to a ripe old age on this planet, but I would not be ready for eternal life. Why? Because I never had a need. It is our needs that remind us of our need for a Savior. If you think you are good without God, understand that this life is not the final destination.
We do not pass “Go” without first rounding the board. We may try to cheat life but we are only cheating ourselves in the end. When the end of the game comes, and it always comes, the only winners will be the ones who played by the rules. And God’s rule is simple: Only Jesus can get you there.
God wants to populate heaven with those who love him and chose him. The way we arrive to that destination is to go through the incubator of this life. Why? Because that is the only way that we will truly learn to love. Getting everything we want or think that we want, is not love; that’s called manipulation. If love has a price, then it can be bought or sold and it’s not truly love at all.
If I ask for something and I don’t receive it, do I reason that God is not acting loving towards me? However with my limited view and understanding, perhaps I do not see that I am being spared greater difficulties that would come with my request. Taking a job that offers more money, may come at the cost of relationships and health. Is it worth it?
Being content without God, or living with an attitude of “I don’t bother him so he doesn’t bother me,” will end tragically. We may never get to know the rest of the story if we end it on our own terms. God will allow you to have it your way. But in the end, we all must submit to the One who has the final say.
So if I am wrong at the end of this life, what would living for God have cost me? A vacation home? A handsome wardrobe? A fat retirement? The things of this world I will certainly trade the One who gave his all. If you are wrong about living without God, what will it cost you?
Pastor Steve is a pastor name Steve. I”ve known him for years. He’s also a funny guy and a writer whom I finally convinced to finally publish his work. Comment below with your thoughts on this post, and should Pastor Steve write more?