When God is Irrelevant

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

We have been talking a lot in church about our need to kill the sin that remains in our lives. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13 ESV)

In practice, this has very much to do with confessing idols and refocusing our priorities. Taking things that we have made into unhealthy demands and desires and either destroying them or putting them back in their proper place.

As Wayne Mack writes, “Our society has made idols out of power, strength, beauty, wealth, intelligence, and athletic ability. These are the things that people value. In our society a successful person is someone who has several of these things. An unsuccessful man is someone who has none of these assets. According to the Bible, this way of measuring worth and success is wrong. These are not the things that God values most. These are not the most important things in life.”

As Christians we believe that knowing and loving God is the most important thing in life. The problem is, we often forget this. Or, as Ed Welch suggests, we simply don’t care…

Sometimes the Creator God, Father of all, from whom we receive all things that are good—becomes irrelevant to us.

When I was in high school I told my parents very little about my dating relationships, though they probably knew more than I realized. One evening, after I was dumped by a girl I had been seeing, my disappointment must have been obvious.

My mother was very kind. “Eddie, we really love you.” She knew something was up.

And at that moment—I had an epiphany. I realized that all the love my mother could muster was irrelevant because I wanted someone else’s love—not hers. I knew parental love was a good thing. But, on that evening and for the next week or two, I didn’t care.

Sometimes, when God says he loves us, we have a similar response. “Well, I guess that it is better that you love me rather than hate me, but right now it doesn’t make any difference to me, because I want ________.”

…someone else’s love

…a job

…respect

…appreciation

…more money

When your desires are more important to you than God, confess them down to size. Some desires are just plain wrong, such as adulterous desires. You don’t confess these down to size; you confess them, turn and run. But most desires have a seed of something good in them. Being loved or appreciated is good. Having a job is good. But when your Father God is irrelevant to you, assume that these good desires have morphed into enslaving giants that must be must be shrunk down to their intended size.

Confession is an essential part of this miniaturization.

“Lord, forgive me. I want more for me. My interests and desires are at the center of the universe. I am undone and unworthy.”

Then a funny thing happens. God’s love begins to make a difference again. It is meaningful, comforting. God’s love was never intended to satisfy desires that have run amok. Instead, his love intends to bring those desires down to size and then fill us to overflowing with his expansive and unlimited blessings.

“May (you) have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:18-19 ESV

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