Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rich or pathetic?

Last time I wrote about how we, the western world, have told God we don't need Him, that we can do it ourselves, and is it any wonder that we feel like we are on our own?

God doesn't force His way in if we've told Him to stay out of our lives - he'll never leave us, and will continue to draw us back - but He gives us the free will to say no to Him. And we've said no so often and so loudly that I think many of us don't even know how to 'need' God anymore.

When Jesus said its easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, he wasn't saying people with money can't go to heaven - he was pointing out how many obstacles get in the way of us recognising our need and putting God in his true place when we have wealth to rely on.

Consider a person crushed by sickness and poverty. If someone comes and says "I can pray for you and God will heal you", how much nearer are they to the point of saying "Yes, I need God. I've got nowhere else to turn." We, with our profuse wealth and health and safety, don't know what it means to have nowhere else to turn.

At least we think we don't. Intellectually we may know we 'need' God, but most of us are looking at our lives with earthly eyes, and even though we say it, deep down do we really believe it? Are you really relying on God, or are you relying on your prosperity and praying to God that you never lose it.

That's a dangerous position to be in. Because with earthly eyes you are fine and dandy, but that's not what God sees with. "I know your works. You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion. It would be better if you were one or the other, but you are neither. So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. You claim, 'I am rich, I have accumulated riches, and I need nothing'; but you do not realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked.

Does that prick your pride? Does it make you defensive to be called pathetic and wretched? Not that we need to dwell on our lack, but it's something to think about when we are tempted to look to ourselves rather than Christ.

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