- Posted January 24, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Pony up God
At what point did we change places with God?
Obviously if you have tried to walk on water lately, you may have come the realization that you are not divine. Yet the question still remains, when did we decide that it is God’s responsibility to meet our every desire? When did “ask and it will be given unto you” leave the realm of spiritual and take the place of physical wants?
Notice earlier that I said desire, not need. Any Christian will tell you that God will meet our needs “…according to his riches and glory.” Phil 4:19. The problem is that we as Christians often do not distinguish between a true need and a want. We have turned into a religious culture that demands God pony up the things that we believe we are entitled to. We ask for a new car, to hit the lottery, or some other outlandish thing that we believe will make a difference in our life. Then suddenly when that prayer is not answered we feel it necessary to become angry with God or use it as an excuse to no longer believe.
Maybe it comes from the idea that material things will make our lives full and more meaningful. But this cannot be further from the truth. It is not hard to look around and find examples of those who have everything and realize that they really don’t; that at some point the material things lose their appeal. However, it goes beyond material possessions.
Of course there are things we ask for that are wholesome. Whether it be a promotion to support our family or a sick relative to be well. Yet even in this, we have forgotten that there is another dimension to ourselves; a dimension that is often malnourished, our spiritual selves.
When praying to God, we need to focus on fulfilling the spiritual needs that can often be forgotten. One of the many reasons people are unhappy is because of a feeling of un-fulfillment. Part of gaining this fulfillment is not only in what we pray for but in what we do as well.
“Faith without works is dead.” James 2:17. Now many use this verse to say salvation is not possible without doing the work of God. I would instead levy that it is not that salvation is not possible; it is that it is useless. We know that God has given everyone a gift that can be used to serve others. While we may not find our gift as glorious as someone else’s, we must understand that God has designed us to serve within a unique capacity not only within the church but also to the people and communities outside of it, even if they are of a different religion, ethnicity, or even sexual preference.
Not only is serving others something we should do, there is a high need for it as well. With America still recovering from its worst economic recession since the Great Depression, now is the perfect time to reach others. Whether it is volunteering at a local church, giving to charity organizations, handing a sandwich to the homeless man you pass on the way to work, or finding your own unique way to serve. There is an indescribable amount of need that can be met in today’s society.
Many would consider these acts of service their calling; something God has told them to do directly. The only problem that stands in our way is ourselves. Within our religious culture we have developed our prayer lives into a one directional conversation were we not only monopolize the conversation with an endless supply of wants but also neglect to listen. If we can begin to change the way we pray and actively seek God on a more spiritual level, finding this calling is much less difficult.
As Christians, we have forgotten that we are the created, not the creator. We are the servants, not the master. It is not God’s responsibility to jump when we ask Him to. It is time for the church to seek Him and find a new level of spiritual fulfillment and calling. As we do this, serving others is not only rewarding but is also natural. And even if you do not believe in God, living a life of service is not a bad life at all.