Written by His Grace,

Kevin K. O’Connor

Sept. 4, 2003

 

Main Thought: To examine the reasons why we follow Christ or don’t.

 

Is it or Isn’t it?

 

How many times have we felt that something was a certain way only to find out that when that certain something was put to the test, it failed? It seems like the trueness of anything is only really revealed when we put it to the test. When I used to work for Missouri Research Labs in Arkansas, it was a standard procedure to put the finished product within a burn-in room or to put an extreme amount of voltage to something to see if it would break down. This was done to ensure that the customer got their money’s worth and that the product would not only look good, but function properly as well.

 

You know the old saying that the Marines are looking for a few good men? Well, our God is looking for people of quality and depth as well. Unfortunately, quality and the depth of that quality is not something that comes easily and those that build marines know that. Gold is something that is usually not found easily due to the nature in which it is formed and also its weight. What do you think gives gold its weight? Probably because its quality, not only externally, but internally as well. External beauty is so easy and looks so nice and we are just as shallow many times as well.

 

Have you ever wondered why God allowed His servant Job to go through such extreme trial and suffering? God could see beneath the surface of what Job looked like on the outside and knew that Job not only appeared righteous because of his works but also was righteous because of his faith. We here in America have gotten so fat and lazy with the blessings of God that we think we deserve them. In many ways we’ve become like satan who was so blessed only because of the Goodness of God, not because of who satan was. He began to look at himself and the blessings that God so lavishly had placed upon him, he began to think that he was God! We in this nation that had formed itself on faith in God have made ourselves gods and wandered far from living in obedience to Him. It seems that now we’ll follow anyone that can make our egos, stomachs, health, or pocketbooks full. Our quality of being has gone to exist only on the external parts of this once great nation. Now this nation is fueled not by our faith but by our debt and our taxes. How very sad to leave faith in God behind!

 

Now, here’s where it gets even sadder. We as a nation of Christians have gotten lazy with our walk with Him as well. We’ve grown to think that our right standing with God is displayed through the blessings of our flesh or bank accounts! How very sad. We think “oh, you’re dying of some fatal disease, where’s your faith?” Or, “you’re living in poverty, where’s your faith?” Our nation has become a nation of Christians who once loved God for Who He Is and not for the blessings He gave, to name it and claim it, blab it and grab it. Notice these verses; Matthew 7:21-23 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

 

I feel that God is about to pour out His wrath on this nation for our lack of depth of faith and love to Him. Miracles are only miracles to us, not to God. We end up getting so excited about His miracles and His supernatural workings that our focus tends to go to them and not Him. We’re no different today than people were in the time Christ walked this earth; Luke 17:12-19 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy [1] met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"  14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. 17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." Notice, only one out of ten was actually made well, while the other nine were merely cleansed externally. How we’ve grown to think that physical blessings equate to godliness and how very shallow that thinking is! Is it any wonder why our nation is so high in divorce? Our commitment to each other goes something like this; “as long as you please me physically, or mentally, I’ll remain true to you, but the moment you don’t, we’re through”. 

 

And we wonder why our children are killing each other, and aborting God’s precious gifts of life. Is it any wonder that the judge who finally took a stand in Alabama got such a following of people? Our nation is now trying to outlaw the mention of God in public places and we’re tired of it. Our complacency will be our undoing. If we don’t rise up out of our beds of comfort and ease and take the horns of God’s alter and seek His face soon, America will have to face the consequences.  2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (Whole Chapter: 2 Chronicles 7 In context: 2 Chronicles 7:13-15)

 

Miracles and the supernatural is like sugar to us, it gives us a high. But, just like sugar that high is superficial and there needs to be something of more substance to sustain. Obedience to God and His Word is my hungering and my thirsting. Knowledge of God’s power to heal is there as well “look at the stars and galaxies and life all around that exists because of Him” but my faith doesn’t rest on whether I’m healed or my bank account is made full. God is God, may He help this once great nation to fall on our faces before Him and repent of our lazy love and faith. Revelation 3:17-19 17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

 

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