Genie or Savior? 3 Ways We Use God
Do we worship God or the blessings that he has given us? Would we still love God even if He didn't answer our prayers?
I pray that after reading this article you might examen your hearts, change your course if you're going astray and have a deeper and loving relationship with God.
If we treat God as our personal butler, we miss out on His purpose for us and mistreat God. Even practicing Christians can look like unbelievers by the way we treat God! Therefore, it is critical we have a healthy mindset and stay with God. Although we WILL fail, may we have an earnest heart for God.
Looking inside of us may not be pretty, but it is necessary in refining us into the image of God. God loves us and will forgive us when we fall short, but we must not abuse that grace. With that being said, let us uncover our hearts and examen ourselves through a biblical lens for today's "The Word" Wednesday.
1.) We only talk to God When We Need Him
When was the last time you've talked to God? Did you worship Him? Gave Him thanks? Poured out your love and admiration for Him? If not, there might be some warning signs that were missed.
Although we can know innately not to treat God like a genie, we might still treat Him like a butler instead of our Holy Master. If I said I loved my earthly father but I only ever asked for money, our relationship would be non-existent. Instead of treating him respectfully, I had dehumanized him into a living bank! How much worse is it to treat our Heavenly Father this way, too? God doesn't want to hear constantly just what we want. He wants to know us!
God is not an endless fountain of blessings but the Holy of Holies! Do we thank Him after He has blessed us or do we leave our hand open for more, so to speak? Unlike a butler, God doesn't have to grant us what we want. Sometimes what we want, even if we perceive it as being good, may not be the best for us or even good at all! If a child wanted to drive, would his parents hand over their keys? Of course not! There are some blessings we aren't ready for. Or what about if a child wanted to be a knight? It is a good but not sustainable profession. Some wishes just aren't meant to be.
Like any loving Father, He wants a relationship with us, not a wish-list. Sometimes we come too well prepared for what we want instead of being in awe of His presence.
2.) We ask but don't give
Like in any relationship, it shouldn't be one-sided. God shouldn't have to put in all the work while we do nothing in return. Asking can become a self-indulging habit. When we ask God to give us something, we may not thank him, much less ask how God can use us! What would happen if God gave us the blessing we asked for? That doesn't mean that we know how to properly use it to honor God! Any blessing can turn into a hinderance if not treated well.
The Parable of the Talents
The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25: 14-30, wonderful illustrates how important it is to be good stewards of our talents/gifts. In the parable, the master gives his servants money to take care of while he is away. Two servants multiplied their blessings and one just hid it. Blessings are not only tools for our personal growth but are also tools to advance the Kingdom of God. We will know how to these blessings by knowing God. (You can read a more thorough explanation by reading this article by GotQuestions.org.)
If we mistreat the small blessings, how can He trust us with the larger blessings? Are we using our time, money, talents, and gifts for God or for personal gain?
3.) We care more about what God can for us than loving Him
Our blessings can be a hinderance of loving God. For example, if I prayed to God to give me the gift of marriage, I might turn that marriage into an idol. I see many people putting too much confidence, love, and hope to their partner than God (I am guilty of it too!). No blessing can replace God. He is a jealous God. Why would He give you something that will turn you away from Him? What if your path isn't the gift of marriage but of singleness? Are we able to receive that gift with joy or disdain?
Love isn't just a word, it's an action. We may proclaim that we love God, but are we spending time to know Him? God died for us so that we may live for Him. He waits patiently and knocks at the door to spend quality time together. Do we let Him in? Or do we tell Him to come by another day? Or worse, ask Him to just slip His blessings under the door. Maybe that request isn't spoken out loud, but in our hearts.
Would you still love God even if [insert desire here] isn't granted?
These questions hint at a deeper issue; do we really love God or do we love His blessings? What if God never answers our desire? Would we still love God even if a fire that took away all of our belongings? If our business goes bankrupt? If our child dies of cancer? Why do some of life's trials, setbacks, and disappointments ruin some people and strengthen others? It really depends on your focus on God.
Sometimes our egos impede from us loving God. We believe we have a right and expect blessings. I mean, we are God's children, right? He can make anything happen if we just believe, right? Sometimes we don't have the perspective that God is a powerful, caring, loving being. Why would He allow suffering if He did?
If God were to give in to every one of our desires, would we be the person we need to be? Trials are painful, but they produce something beautiful with God's help. What if Joseph cursed God when he was thrown wrongfully into slavery and later, prison? He was obedient and trusting of God, even when everything seemed to fall apart. Joseph finally realized something special and truth after feeding his starving family. He proclaimed to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You meant evil against me, but God used it for good.”
Even if I don't see God at work, He is still orchestrating all things for good. He kept all of His promises before, why would He not today?
Seek first the kingdom of God and He will take care of all of your needs and wipe away all of your tears.
We can lean on God without using Him by giving Him thanks, being good stewards of His gifts, and trusting that God will use everything for good. Remember, God still loves us, even if we fall short. This should encourage us to return to Him, not to shame us and overwhelem us with guilt.
Our focus, actions, and words reveal to us where our heart is, therefore, we must renew our minds and be vigilant to stick close to God through prayer and bible reading.
Did I do a good job of explaining today's topic? Let me know in the comments below! I welcome constructive critisim!
If you're struggling, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to pray for you and be a listener for you!
Thank you for reading my blog post! Take care and stay in God's word.
Father God, I pray that I have spoken with truth and love. I want my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to take away any hinderances from you, even if those things were at first blessings. Please remove my plank from my eye. I am very much guilty of over-valuing your blessings over you! I am thankful of your forgiveness and love. I pray it overflows to my readers today and encourages them to return to you.
In Jesus's name I pray, amen.