This might be a bit of a controversial topic, but my passion is stirred, and this is one of the ways I express my passion. This post isn’t meant to exclude anyone, but it is especially pointed to those who consider themselves Christian.
Since sin was introduced to man in Genesis 3, we humans have been preyed upon with deception. The hook isn’t baited with something that won’t attract us. The serpent lured Eve by appealing to her instinct to have more than she was given by God.
Temptation is never ugly when we look at it initially. I remember when I stepped into mainland China for the first time. As I walked out of the train station and down the street, I saw these beautiful, brightly colored signs which inspired a happy feeling. But in the gaps between the signs, you could look to see that behind them were dilapidated buildings. The signs were there to hide and distract from the ugly truth which stood behind them. Just like these signs, temptation inspires good feelings, but behind them is a world of ugliness.
Sometimes deception comes disguised as some form of godliness. That’s what it looks like from the outside, anyway. There have been various forms of the current philosophy of the “Laws of Attraction”. This crept into the church long ago in the so-called “Positive Confession” movement. It’s also been known as the “Word of Faith”, “Prosperity Doctrine”, “Name It and Claim It”, and the ever popular, “Blab It and Grab It”. In any form, it is about the idea that if we really want something, and we believe that it is ours, it is! Even if it hasn’t yet come to pass, it’s a done deal. Now we have self-help gurus making fortunes off the “Eves” of this age with the so-called Law of Attraction.
Let me just say that any theology or “secret” that puts man at the center isn’t of God. Christianity and all its benefits aren’t about us, it’s about God. Sure, we benefit in ways that can’t be measured, but even so, it’s not about us. As humans, we have a very selfish instinct. We seek out formulas which will make our lives more comfortable. Just as bubblewrap is cushy and fun, we want our lives to be insulated by a nice, comfortable concept for living. We convince ourselves that we should be able to will ourselves to more good events in life, while shrouding ourselves from things ranging from the inconvenient to the tragic.
The Gospel of Jesus is anything but comfortable. There is nothing simple and easy about the Christian life. If it were as simple as some Jedi mind trick to the cosmos that if we simply send out positive energy, good things will be drawn to us like static cling, that would completely nullify what Jesus did with His life, death and His resurrection. God did not send His son so that life would be easy for us. He is not a genie in a lamp. The Christian life is not for the faint of heart.
The fact that the world has devised a “secret” that shadows a miracle of God as promised to His people is nothing new. In Exodus 7, Moses and his brother Aaron were standing before Pharaoh trying to convince him to do as the Lord commanded in letting the Israelites free from slavery. In order to get Pharaoh’s attention, the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to do something.
“Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.”
Mimicking God’s miracles is nothing new. However, as this example clearly demonstrates, the real thing, the truth will swallow up the imitation every time.
For those who call themselves Christians, it is about denying ourselves and living for the purpose of glorifying God. It is about submitting ourselves to His will. Jesus Himself uttered the words, “not my will, but Yours be done”. Pretty bad things happened to Jesus following those words. Were they the result of negative vibrations?
They were the result of our sin, and God loved us so much that He endured horrific atrocities.
If you’re a parent, you don’t give your children everything they want, even when they’re being sweet and obedient. You probably reward them for their good behavior, but that’s what they’re supposed to do in the first place. If you gave them whatever they wanted, they’d have ice cream for dinner. You’d be broke buying them everything they want. They’d never be home because they’d abuse the independence given to them in being able to do what they want, when they want. Sometimes God says no to us. When you say no to your kids, you don’t want them to pitch a fit like spoiled brats. You want them to respect your authority and accept your decision because you see the big picture of what is best for them and their development.
We must submit our will to God’s. When the bible says in Psalm 37:4 that we should delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart, it doesn’t mean that if we are happy Christians with a positive attitude that we’re going to get nothing but green lights and great parking spots. It means that when we are in proper fellowship with God, His desires for us will become ours. He will birth His desires in our hearts which will please Him, and it will also bring us great fulfillment. God loves to lavish us with great gifts, but He knows what is truly in our best interest. He knows what we can handle and be trusted with.
Many Christians like to quote Psalm 37:4 and use it as an argument for material prosperity. However, they tend to overlook verses 5-7 which says:
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.