Man, if you are hungry nowadays, almost all restaurants have their menus open for online inspection. We can take a quick look if we are seriously hungry or take our time analyzing in depth the right cuisine for a special occasion without leaving our homes. Almost all establishments have “take out” or are prepared to have their menu packaged and delivered along with finances securely transacted. Today, we live in an awesome, easy to consume environment.
As followers of Jesus Christ, I wonder if we don’t approach the Bible, prayer, and the things of God much like we order our food online. We have multiple devotions online that we can select a thought or two which will help get us through the day and then quickly pray for the things we need for God to help us with.
There is a question that begs to be asked. Do you serve Jesus or consume Him? “What’s the difference?” It is all about who is in control of your life. You can read scripture and great Christian books and can pray daily with “self” still being in control or on the throne of your life. Your search in scriptures for verses that make you feel better about yourself, that give you peace, power, insight, and strength…self-empowerment and self-enrichment. Plus, you can pray religiously without recognizing those prayers are for the satisfaction or support of your personal agenda. Without realizing it, our relationship with Jesus is self-centered. Rather than serving Him, we consume Him…
We portray God as caring about our plans and priorities more than anything else. We want Jesus to be the advocate for our most deeply held concerns, and because of that, we focus on the parts of Jesus’s story that connect with us the best instead of looking at what Jesus actually said about himself.
Note how Jesus first invited folks into His Kingdom, “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25). According to this passage, the key to His kingdom is to get off your personal throne and crown Him as Lord of your life. Kingdom life is not about Him supporting your agenda but selling out to His.
Galatians 2:20 is straightforward, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
How do you proceed forward? Wholly trust Him. Proverbs 3:5-7 says it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Recognize that God is much wiser than yourself; so, “fear” (respect) Him totally trusting Him with your life “turning from evil”.
Being God-centered rather than self-centered is the key to the Kingdom and abundant life. Don’t try to consume Him. Serve Him.