Why is it that when the team is winning, they take the credit, but when they lose it is the coach’s fault?
The worst possible thing that can happen to people is comfort and ease while they happily sin. Read the Bible, every time God comes through and brings victory and prosperity; the people respond by abandoning him and chasing after demon gods and oppressing the poor and needy. They then repent due to the consequences and plead with God for mercy, which he gives them only to have them backslide.
I was driving down I-94 recently and spent a lot of time praying for the wild drivers racing past me, (it’s either pray for them or be bothered and I find my heart is more peaceful if I see them as needy people in danger rather than selfish crazies trying to kill me.) I then came upon a 10 car pile up and noticed that for almost 10 miles past the crash site, people drove properly and then started speeding and weaving in and out.
I have said to Christians, my whole life, that we have been given the privilege to serve God with wild abandon and total worship during a time in history where God has allowed relative peace and comfort. Why should a parent only be heard when they yell? Why should they only be obeyed out of fear? Oh to serve him radically when this whole thing settles down. Surely he deserves to be worshiped just because of who he is.
However, the church has grown fat and lazy, we want to be entertained, we do not want the word SIN in our sermons, we do not want to go witnessing to our neighbors, we do not want to ponder the Bible, we do not want to spend, “sweet hours of prayer” on our knees. I struggle to get mature adults to “take the risk” of praying out loud in growth groups, and God forbid! we should share about our struggles with anger, greed, lust, control etc. No, we share about other people’s illnesses.
Thank God for illness. We need something unpredictable in our lives to keep the awareness of our weakness and need for God in the back of our minds. However we live under the delusion that we and our vaunted medical system can handle anything. Meanwhile we break all his health instructions and kill ourselves young. I remember a man who had just had a triple bypass but saw God as the “big spoil-sport in the sky” so was waiting till the last minuite to give himself to God. I begged him to see that, now is the day of salvation, now is the right time. He ignored me and said, “Oh I have lots of time, medicine can do almost anything?” He died that night.
So God attacks our sense of safety and blows up buildings in New York and everyone goes back to church for 3 weeks. Now he is hitting our entertainment, sports, restaurants, economy and medical systems. How long will we sit up and listen to him and learn to value him and our families and the economy that he gives?
We have made him give up on being worshiped for his great goodness and forced him to apply his own word, “He whom a father loves he chasteneth.”
Isaiah 28:12 this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest;and this is the refreshing:yet they would not hear. Isaiah 30:15 in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. Jeremiah 29:19 I sent my words by my servant the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear. Matthew 23:37 How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gathers her brood under her wings, and ye would not!