Do you believe in Jesus? Do you really believe He is who He says He is and do you believe His Word to be true? Are you living like it?
A young friend of mine who professed to believe in Jesus and the Word of God is in a spiritual mess right now. He hasn’t seen God do what He’s asked Him to do, so He’s ready to throw in the towel and pursue other religions and see what they have to offer. “Christianity isn’t really working out for me” he says. What he’s really saying is “God isn’t giving me exactly what I want so He must not be real.” He is looking to Jesus to do what he used to look to Santa to do…fill his wish list and give him everything he wants.
While we can all sit back and look at my young friend and see the mistake he is making, I wonder how many of us are in the same boat but can’t see the forest for the trees. We pray for something and it doesn’t come to pass and we begin to think things like: God doesn’t care about me; God isn’t listening to me; why is God mad at me.
The fact of the matter is, God loves you enough to let you go through some stuff to shape you and mold you more into His likeness. He cares more about your holiness than He does your happiness. Happiness is fleeting but the joy of the Lord will carry you through life.
God’s ways are different from ours [Isaiah 55:8] and that is where the problem exists. We say we want to surrender our lives to Him, but we don’t want to give Him full custody of ourselves. We just want to give Him visitation rights. Our God is a jealous God and He does not want to share the reign over your life with anyone else, including you [Exodus 34:14].
Just as Jesus laid down His life for us, we must lay ours down for Him and those we encounter [1 John 3:16], even those who hurt us, belittle us, and make us angry [Matthew 5:44]. The way of the Lord is so totally different from our world and we make it complicated. In reality, it is very simple.
God is not Santa Claus! He loves for us to come to Him in prayer, but He doesn’t work from our “to do” list. He is in charge and He gets to decide how things play out. He doesn’t need our permission, approval or cooperation to make it happen. He loves us and He knows what is best for us and He will bring it to pass, even if it hurts a little along the way. Why do we make things so complicated?
I know my young friend will eventually come to the realization that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life [John 14:6] and return to his first love. I don’t know it because I can see it. I know it because His Word promises it.
Isaiah 55:11 tells us the Word of God will not return empty, but will accomplish His purposes. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart form it.” I know my young friend has been raised to know who God is and to know He and the Word are trustworthy. What about you?
Ask the Lord to reveal if you’ve been coming to Him like Santa or a Savior. If you’ve been seeking Santa, it’s time to realize Santa Claus isn’t real, but the Savior is the same yesterday, today and forever [Hebrews 13:8]. Seek Him out today.