Sunday, July 22, 2007
"Therefore whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
- Paul the Apostle
In other words, right down to the most simple and mundane tasks of everyday life such as eating or drinking, everything we do is supposed to be filtered through the prism of this all important question:
"How will what I'm doing glorify God, and how will it affect my relationship with Him? And what should I do; what choice should I make given my present prosperity or affliction that will most advance the Kingdom and bring the greatest glory to God?"
You see, sometimes we have the focus compeletly backwards, even as Christians. In this current church culture of man-centered theology, where everything seems to center around whether or not we, as humans, benefit or not, it's very easy to make decisions based on things that WE want and then try to "include" God into it in some way.
For example, maybe we get it fixed in our minds that life is about getting married and having a family or becoming successful in business or perhaps becoming a professional athelete or even just enjoying a "full simple healthy life", and so we pursue those things and then we simply attempt to "fit in God" whenever and wherever we can by perhaps thanking Him when our selfish, personal goals are finally acheived.
But the problem with that carnal, worldly philosophy is it typically reveals itself as the selfish sin that it is when, suddenly or unexpectedly, life "throws us a curve". Maybe our spouse dies or perhaps we lose our jobs or when we end up in a wheelchair permanently disabled ...and then comes the cry to God: "Why me?! How could you let this happen to me?! Don't you love me anymore, God? How come you're not "blessing" me anymore?" And because our life wasn't really about advancing the Kingdom or bringing glory to God at all in the first place, but rather it was mostly about attempting to aquire comfort, pleasure, personal gain, and self-satisfaction ....well, when such trials hit, that kind of poor theology only leaves people VERY ill-equipped to be able to deal with and cope with the problems of life when they inevitably arrive. That's why Christians should be very uncomfortable with the "Health-Wealth" and man-centered theologies that are sweeping through "churches" today because they are setting up very unrealistic, very unbiblical, temporal expectations of when and why and how God blesses us. They very often set personal happiness as the goal; not the advancement of the Kingdom and the glory of God.
But the primary issue in life isn't supposed to be "How can Christians be most happy?" or "How can we get what we want?" It's supposed to be "Are we bringing forth His attributes and, in through our thoughts and words and actions in the course of the very day to day, ever changing providence of life that come to us, is He, is God being glorified? And am I enjoying fellowship with Him regardless of whether or not His providences have brought me temporal prosperity or temporal adversity. That is supposed to be the true focus of life. ...and I'll tell you something: Our misconceptions about life and Christianity in general, will obviously lead to the same misconceptions about prayer specifically because, similarly, prayer is not supposed to be chiefly and primarily about us either. Prayer isn't merely an instrument whose purpose is to make our lives go smoothly and without affliction, nor is it a means to accomplish great personal wealth and health and prosperity! No, prayer like all that we, as Christians, have or do is to be chiefly and primarily an instrument to enable and empower us to advance the Kingdom AND to glorify God, and to enhance our relationship with God.
- Mark Kielar
( President of CrossTV and teaching pastor at
First Baptist of Boynton Beach )