I would like to buy $3 worth of God please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth. I want about a pound of eternal in a paper sack. I’d like to buy $3 worth of God please.
An except in Wilbur Rees book which I recently came across. It sheds light on our inability to embrace the fullness of God. It uses language that we are all too familiar with, what can I gain from God without ever giving up any parts of myself.
It is a sobering truth one that has forced me to reflect on my relationship with God. It demands that you ask yourself one of the most important questions in your Christian walk, which is;
How committed am I to my source of life?
Can I have $3 worth of God, enough to continue my mediocre life, to continuously ignore your call in relinquishing the control over my life, my desires, my lusts and my dreams.
Can I please have $3 worth of God enough to provide me a safety net, in which I can call upon him when my plans fall apart and cease to exist which they inevitably will.
Can I have $3 worth of God which only highlights the goodness and graciousness of God while ignoring his holiness and righteousness which can never coexist with my sinful nature without a complete turning away from sin through repentance.
Can I have $3 worth of God which guarantees an ecstatic experience not transformation. Our emotions are not our guides, they should not be the highlight of our Christian walk. It is essential to evaluate your Christian life in the absence of feel good emotions, but rather in accordance with the word of God regardless of how it makes you feel.
As challenging as that is, it will help us in measuring our growth not based on a fleeting ecstatic experience but rather concrete transformation rooted in the word of God.
I’ve been in a couple of services where I’ve been brought to tears, and felt like I could go home and maintain my level of ecstasy but yet failing to do so. Change takes time but our constant need to be edified through an emotional experience is problematic. It traps us into a consumerist Christian culture in which we can only take without ever offering anything of value.
The main theses of the consumerist Christian culture is; what can I gain from God without letting his transformative power change me. In most cases we settle for an emotional experience with no inward transformation just a few moments of tears, euphoria then we return to our lives forgetting the very word that had brought us to tears a few moments ago.
I’m realizing that if you root yourself in anything other than the word of God it can only sustain you in the short term. Emotions are a terrible guide in growth, just because you feel something it doesn’t dictate the truth. The most challenging lesson that God is graciously walking me through is to align my emotions with truth, as opposed to letting my emotion dictate truth.
Can I have $3 worth of God which grants me the warmth of the womb not a new birth.
In Corinthians 5:17 we are promised that we are new creations in Christ, in essence we experience a new birth , all things pass away and we are made new. It is a promise that offers the assurance of salvation while calling us into a new dimension of our being rooted in Christ Jesus.
A new birth, demands that we let go of our will, just like a new born baby who is completely dependent on caregivers for their livelihood. God has called us to adopt a similar attitude to Christian growth complete trust in the one who has ultimately given you a new life.
It is easier said than done but that is the only way that we can truly experience the fullness of God. I find myself at times settling for a lukewarm Christian life, whereby I go through motions without really embracing whole heartedly the verse which urges us to forsake our will for his.
I find myself asking God to change me and when it requires a greater change in my character I shrink back into my self. I shrink into my comfort, my safe space where I can be nothing but myself. God has called us to die to ourselves, digging deeper into who God has called us to be requires that we search for him whole heartedly.
In Jeremiah 29:13
We are promised that we will seek him and find him if we search for him with an undivided heart.
My prayer for you and I this coming year is to let go of control, to embrace the different dimensions of God. To ask him to teach us through the convictions of the Holy Spirit how to embody the character of Jesus Christ. To stop settling for emotional experiences that breed nothing concrete but rather to root out selves in his word with an undivided heart. To teach us the importance of childlike expectancy in our Christian walk whereby we can boldly walk in hid promises with the deepest assurance that if we seek him wholeheartedly we will indeed find him.