“People may seek God as they want him to be, but no one seeks God as he reveals himself to be in the Bible.” – Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas
I read that at Christmas time. Didn’t give me the warm-feels I was looking for, that’s for sure. The book went on to state that we all have a degree of resistance in our heart for God. I wanted to totally dismiss this claim, throw the book away and continue on with the “fa la la la las” of a happy holiday season.
I wanted to outright reject this idea because I love God- I want to do what He wants me to do, I want to spend time with Him, whatever His will- I want to do it!
But do I really?
The thought then occurred to me that the will I often seek from Him for my life looks pretty good from my prospective. Lead me to people who need kindness- sure. Let me proclaim your name and your glory in my life- but mostly to people who are open to hear it. I will go through suffering for you, Jesus- as long as it isn’t too bad and that it will be quickly resolved.
Recently I have been given the opportunity to hang out with people who openly and adamantly oppose my line of thinking. And you know what I realized? I don’t wanna. I don’t want to be in conflict or confrontation. I don’t want to be around people who make me feel insignificant and insecure and who I can tell don’t like me.
I don’t really want to do God’s will. And there it was. The heart of my human condition. Rebellion.
Somewhere along the line, God’s will in my life turned into whatever lead to a happy, thriving, successful-looking life. News flash: God isn’t interested in my happiness. God is interested in my freedom. In other’s freedom. Freedom from lies, freedom from oppression, freedom from all the havoc sin wreaks. Why? Because there is another lifetime that is depending on it: our eternal lifetime.
My focus on this life and its comforts is not truly taking to heart the depth that Jesus spoke to when he said,
“In this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
I can be so limited when I think He is going to make everything right in this life, obtuse to the fact His focus isn’t this life. His focus is getting as many of His children with Him into eternity by any means- and we are often the “means”.
The question remains: am I ready to be in regular contact with situations that I desire the least- some which WILL bring intensely uncomfortable and possibly painful situations- and still acknowledge Him as a good father? It will take suffering. But to live a truly productive christian life the end goal can’t be comfort.
Its Jesus forever.