Monday, August 11, 2014

Have It Your Way...

Like many others, I worked in some fast food restaurants in my lifetime. It was a pretty common occurrence  for someone to request a breakfast item during lunch or dinner or to request a lunch or dinner item at breakfast. However, fast food restaurants just didn't do that then. In recent weeks I have noticed several burger companies in my area advertising that you can order anything from any menu at any time of the day. I wondered to myself, "After all these years, why?" This is a consumer-driven market. People want what people want when they want it or else they will take their money to a place that will give them what they want. But, that didn't matter before. What has changed?

Now, before I begin to make my point, do not think that I am creating a theology of burger chains or that I believe that morality hinges on when you can order a burger or a breakfast sandwich. However, I believe the reasons for the above-mentioned change are symptomatic of a greater issue in society: we have become more permissive and more personal "rights" driven. In the past, if a business had a policy guiding its practices, we accepted it as that company's right to choose what they wanted to do with their business. We might not have liked it, but we accepted it. Now, we have the idea that we ought to get whatever we want when we want it because that is our right. 

So, we come to church and hear what the Bible has to say, but often we pick the parts that agree with our line of thinking or the parts that make us comfortable with the way we are living and disregard the rest. However, this is not God's desire for us. He didn't send Christ to die so we could have it our way.  He didn't send Christ so we could continue to fill our minds with the filth of television, movies or the internet. He didn't send Him so we could live in immoral relationships. He didn't send Christ so we could work day and night to make tons of money. He didn't send Him for our comfort or preferences.

God, the Father sent His only Son to the cross because our way is against His way. Our way is faulty. Our life is sinful. Our life is offensive to God. Our way is the wide path that leads to destruction. God's way is the narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14).  God is holy which means He is completely separate from us and more pure than our minds can imagine or even comprehend.  That is why Christ had to come. That is why the sacrifice had to be perfect. That is why Christ poured out His blood. That is why Christ gave up His rightful glory for a season (Philippians 2:5-8). Christ came to make us holy not to make us happy.

We must follow His example. All great leaders lead by doing, not just telling. Jesus showed and told us that we must deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24). Paul showed and told that us we must die to the flesh (Romans 8:13). So, how do we deny ourselves and die to the flesh? We must live for God according to His desires. How do we know His desires? By reading and studying His Word, the Bible, and by believing that what it says is one hundred percent from God and is one hundred percent true and not leave out the parts that make us uncomfortable. We must also trust that His Spirit will make His Word clear.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16)
"But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:20-21)
I pray that you and I will examine ourselves and see clearly what are our perspectives of who God is and align them properly with His desires for our life and our service for Him. I pray that we will see that we are not here for ourselves, but for His Glory and that the world will see an accurate reflection of Him in us. I pray that our daily prayer will be, "God, please...Have it your way!"

For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet

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