We have often heard it said that the Christian life will not necessarily be a smooth one in this life. We could have the same problems and issues others have. A recession can take our job away just like every one else. Our parents die while we are in middle age, like every one else. Unexpected natural disasters and doctor’s diagnoses also cloud our horizon. We know of these things intellectually and theologically.
Suspending Our Judgment
However, when we go to church, some of us suspend judgment and start believing anything that is spouted by the preacher. We stat believing that if we plant our seed (pay money in the plate) we will not have the same issues as everyone else. We start believing that God must hook us up with financial blessings that look a lot like American Middle Class values. We start believing that we know that God’s will for us is to be the Joneses that elicits envious looks from our neighbors.
There is a Christianity that costs something. Larnell Harris sang the song a while back entitled “When Praise Demands a Sacrifice.” In it he looks at the story of Abraham. Abraham was called to give up all on the alter. Some of us think that preaching about American materialism is that of which “relevant” preaching consists. Some of us are too busy following the preaching about cars, houses, and promotions that we miss the essential idea that true Christianity brings sacrifice and persecution. Christianity has become too comfortable in this society. We see Christianity not as an alternative to American Socieity’s excesses and materialism, but as an inside help to gain all that any citizen would desire.
Yes God Hooks Us Up
Yes God Hooks us up, no doubt. But Satan, the god of this world, is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8. Yes God places limits on what Satan can do, but Satan is busy attempting to overtake the woman because he knows he has little time. Revelation 12:12. My Sister and Brother preachers, it is time to stop preaching God as if God is simply the inside track to material blessings. It is time to move towards a more mature and deeper faith that can say with the Hebrew boys, “God is able, but if God doesn’t, I still will not bow.” Daniel 3:17.
We need a But if Not faith if we are going to make it through the dark days ahead. We need a “but if Not” faith if we are going to live the life God would have us to live. We need a “but if not” faith if we will live through the time of trouble such as never was. Daniel 12:1. In fact the hook up is not that you are guaranteed a new car or a new house. The hook up is that God is with you even in the valley of the Shadow of death. The hook up is not that if you lose your job a better paying one is around the corner. The hook up is that with every temptation God provides a way of escape. The hook up is not that you are guaranteed a cure for the cancer. The hook up is that even if you have to die, Jesus has already defeated death. I think that the true hook up is worth more than the materialistic cheap knock off.