Sunday, 14 August 2011
10:38:50 PM (GMT)
(I kid you not, as I was writing this I was exchanging texts and making plans to
catch the 7 o clock showing of the Winnie the pooh movie with friends. I have church
group every Sunday from about 6 to 8, and I was intending to simply leave early, no
big deal. I got about 3/4 done writing this before the light bulb turned on. derp.)
Three Dollars Worth of God
by Wilbur Rees
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of God to make me love a black man
or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
When people choose to become a Christian, that person accepts God into their life as
its center. It is not simply a title. When we become Christian God sanctifies us.
(Sanctify means set apart as or declare holy; to consecrate.) But we enter the faith
as babies and it is up to ourselves to choose to grow. For we know very little of
God's teachings and of His way for us. To seek intimacy with Him is to pursue
closeness with God, to learn His teachings, His will, and to live with Him in mind:
to want closeness. But many times when we seek it we are easily discouraged. I know
I have been.
Once we are sanctified we are to begin a transformation. Surely if you love God and
see wisdom in the bible you then want to live as God asks and to love as He loves.
These are basics of Christianity.
But we tend to meet God with expectations. We want neat, tidy answers and we expect
them to arrive when we ask for them. We expect to see God at work in our lives and
in the lives of others, and for our path to be strait, obvious, and not too steep.
It is easy to mutter a prayer or praise, but difficult and annoying to speak it
meaningfully. We do not want to suffer, and when things go poorly we tend to
complain and to be angry. (I speak entirely from my own experiences :x)
Some of us see God as a cosmic killjoy who tells us everything fun or
enjoyable is sin. Then it is easy to feel "I won't live His way because I want
this, and I want to do that." Most teenagers go through this. Some
never grow out of it... Things are labeled as sin because they lead us away from
God, from his good, from His love, and from our own benefit. Anger, malice,
contempt, vengeance, greed, adultery, lust, selfishness and envy/jealousy are the
earmarks of a self-centered world.
And sometimes we treat God as the backpack Christ. We carry Him around and only ask
Him for things when He appears useful to us. When we are hurt, we ask for a bandage,
when it is dark we ask for a flashlight. God is also not the center of our lives,
but He is a part of it. We do not go out of our way to change or improve or to try
to give back. He becomes a God of convenience. Do you ever feel like God owes you
Intimacy with God goes way beyond feelings. For it is common to feel "How can
it be wrong if it feels so right?" such as "We're in love and we want this, we have
the hunger and so we're going to do this even if we're told we should not." This
statement struck home with me. It is times like these that I've found it hardest to
follow God. I've wanted so badly to believe that no bad will come of pursuing what I
want. That there won't be consequences because my case is special. Please, trust
that it is a worthwhile sacrifice to let go of what we want when we know better....
No matter how much we want it.
We grow in Christ only when we seek to. That means to be humble. To admit that God
knows best and that His will is best for us. To have pride is not to admit being
wrong or having made a poor or selfish choice. Pride is one of the hardest
things to fight against. For our own growth, good, and happiness we force ourselves
to follow God's will and not our own. It hurts, it
really sucks, but after
the fact we do see that it was the better choice. ...Even though we may wish
we didn't know better and could do what is bad for us(sin) without guilt or
“The pursuit of intimacy is an intentional commitment to take steps toward God,
and, in the process of that ‘Godward’ motion, to grow more deeply conscious of,
connected to, and confident in Him alone, as the only source to satisfy, sustain and
secure.” - Unknown Author
Often we don't want to have intimacy with God because we don't want to give anything
up. We don't want to be faithful to Him in our actions.
We have to make ourselves moldable, we have to want to change and grow. That means
reminding ourselves why we want to pursue God.
2 Corinthians 4:6-9 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s
glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is
from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not
16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our
eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but
what is unseen is eternal.
Intimacy is not about what God will do for us or the absence of hardship. It is what
He wants to do in us and through us. Not a backpack buddy, who's there
for only when I'm in trouble. The walk with God is unique to each of us and we are
indeed a church full of hypocrites. Its not about being perfect and judgmental. We
all struggle, we all trip and fall. Intimacy is knowing why to get back up.
Three dollars worth of God, please. You reading this, how much do you want? $3?
$100? all? He will turn your world upside down, take you out of your comfort and
stretch you. He will seek to cut all of your habits which harm or enslave you. It
hurts, it often sucks, but when you see the results you will know it is worth it.