September 8, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://baptist.org |
Faith statements? What is your faith in the Lord about? Or, whom is it about? Him.. you..? Do you serve God? Or does he serve you?
So many Christians make statements of faith in the Lord (concerning their daily lives) that sound like these: “The Lord will take care of me.” “The Lord will meet my needs.” “The Lord loves me, even if ya’ll don’t.” “I know the Lord will heal me.” and so forth. Most of the statements of faith are about what the Lord can or will do for them. Though there are times and places for that, such statements indicate a lack of faith. That’s why you have to remind yourself about promises he has for you. Instead, if you actually believe he will meet your needs, go on and do for him. Proverbs 30:15a “The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give.”
Of the great statements of faith that I see in the scriptures I offer you these: Do you remember Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Dan 1:6)? OK, maybe you don’t. They are the Hebrews known more commonly by their Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. OK, now you remember. Nebuchadnezzar, the evil king, was going to throw them into a fiery furnace if they would not bow down to his idol. Their statement faith is my first and personal favorite. Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” They said, God can deliver us, but if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. We still will not bow down to that thing.
Job offers another great statement of faith: Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
These statements do not say, God will make it easy, God will make sure I win! I’m a prince or princess before God, he’ll make sure I have a rich, smooth path! God will see that I’m treated worthy of my position as God’s child! These statements say that whatever the Lord has decided to put me through or have happen to me.. that’s fine. Just so long as I please him. It’s about the Lord, not about us.
Modern day christianettes, who listen to sermonettes, while smoking their cigarettes or briefly taste a tiny bit of devotional thought, looking for a gem or gold nugget to make them feel good and don’t dig into real deep scripture study wind up being a part of Generation Entitled, too quickly. Faith is not about God making your life easy, pain free or wealthy. God is not a genie in a bottle or a wishing well for you to get what your flesh wants. We are to be living sacrifices for his service, not put God to work to serve us. Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” A sacrifice is not dominated by what it wants for itself.
Do what is right because it’s right. Not for reward or to avoid chastisement. Look for what you can do for God, not what he can do for you. Selfishness is the fastest route to misery.