I have, oftentimes, looked to God as a “vending machine god.” You know, the one I can go to anytime, pull a lever and out comes a blessing. Maybe it’s a blessing in “disguise,” but nevertheless, it’s God’s answer.
How often have I treated God this way, looking toward Him with a greedy, little heart, asking whatever I want and hoping He will give me His blessings or “rubber stamp” my agenda with His “O.K.?”
It grieves me to know that I truly have done this, many times, throughout my life. Sitting in a pew doesn’t make me a Christian. Praying and asking my “Vending Machine God” to bless someone doesn’t either. No, there must be something more.
This morning, as I was going through my “Good morning, Linda” conversation (http://twowhitebutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/03/good-morning-linda.html), instead of just reading, “Be still and know… trust… that I am God, Linda” and checking it off, as if in agreement, I wrote: “I am still (quiet) before You… listening, waiting, seeking You!” and sensed God saying, “Thank you!” However, I had intended to write… and somewhat pridefully, I hate to admit, “I am still (quiet), before you… seeking Your will, Your word, Your Spirit”… but, as I thought about what I was about to write, I noticed that my words had the idea or sense of “What can You give me, God?” rather than anticipating what He wanted to share with me, in that moment.
I was flabbergasted! I was appalled! Here, I thought I was “doing my duty,” coming before God, early in the morning, acknowledging Him – just like I was supposed to… and found out my heart wasn’t in the right place. Instead of coming to God with reverence and awe and humility, I came boldly, as a rash, prideful child or teenager, expecting something from Him rather than anticipating the joy of an intimate relationship with Him. I came to Him like someone holding her hand out to her father with the thought of, “What are you going to give me today?”
Oh, I’m so ashamed! I have treated my beloved Heavenly Father like a vending machine, expecting blessings and words of wisdom and nuggets of truth and power to do whatever I thought was best.
Tears are filling my eyes, as I realize how much God loves me, knowing how I’ve treated Him. He loves me, and you, so much that He sent His only begotten Son to live in human form in this world… to be born as a baby… to teach us what this loving, Father-Son relationship really looks like… with interactive trust, hope, faith, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit… with the plan that Jesus would be the perfect, sacrificial Lamb of God for the Jews, first, for the forgiveness of their sins, and then for the Gentiles, for all of mankind (or, humankind, if you prefer). And, not only that, but for all who believe in Jesus, as the Son of God and as their Savior and Lord, we are given a new name, adopted as sons and daughters of the Father, provided with the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower and enable us to be renewed, transformed, and restored in our minds and hearts and healed of wounds and bitterness, and given the hope of resurrection and eternal life with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… with God Almighty, beginning now and forever.
I have taken this all for granted and, worse, I have taken God for granted, too, expecting that He will do what’s best for me since He is a loving God, but without accepting the responsibilities of being a growing and maturing follower of Jesus Christ and responsible member of His family. I’m embarrassed to say, I have been an immature, irresponsible child… yes, even as a child of God… who has thought more about what I want and what I think than of what my Heavenly Father desires for me and for you and for all of humankind.
Lord? I’m ready to listen… I’m here with You!
Precious Linda, c. 2013