Let us get right to the proceedings. Today we live in the age of that real good gospel. We love that feel good gospel. The gospel of health and wealth. The gospel of praise God when things are right. The gospel of I need from God and He should not expect much from me until I get what I need. Some of you guys may be offended and I am not trying to offend because I have thrown myself into this lot as well. I am speaking from my experiences of myself and others. Just things I have seen. Here we go.
We have come into an age of the gospel of health and wealth. I didn't coin this. I got this from Michael Erik Dyson in a book I am reading of his and when I think about it he is right. I look at myself when I have been shouting for God and trying to do things His way because I wanted something from Him. It wasn't to give Him earnest glory and praise. It was a tactic to get my needs addressed. The problem with that is one day you'll become tired of it and figure out you don't have it in you to continue. You burn out. You take it as God doesn't care about you. You don't stick with the actions because you may not havs believed in it in the first place. You beg God to make it change because your selfish heart was never about praising Him. It was more about God addressing your needs. Admit it. Now you want to go to everything in the church because you figure He is paying attention. You're looking for a blessing by performing actions. And I'm not saying that you don't have experiences with God along the way. I'm sure God is touching you. Our God is so good even when He knows you are full of it, He will still bless you! But that doesn't mean He doesn't want you to change. I been there. I know what it feels like. You start to feel stuck and hopeless. You begin to resent everything and yourself because your life isn't where you wanted by now. You figure God isn't hearing you. He hears you. Every time. But God is waiting on you to glorify Him because of who He is and less about His ability. You know His ability already which is why you have gone through the motions of "being a good person and doing the right things." But that is all an act. You can't change yourself or your life if it was never real. If it was all about wanting God to see to get something, He will look deeper into your heart. If your heart isn't there, forget it.
You want to be healed or given abundant blessings so you can praise. Again it doesn't work that way. Psalms 34 says I will bless the Lord at ALL TIMES, not when it's convenient for you. God is not your Lord to make life convenient for you so you can do what He demands of you. You praise God and work for God at all times. You don't wait. Saw a quote, and I'm paraphrasing: If you faith doesn't change you, why expect it to change anything else? That kind of ties back in to what I said before. You want from God so you do the right things. It has nothing to do with much love but more want. Again, I been there before. I switched up so much in my life because I thought God would bless me indeed if I did. Alas, it was never from a good place. God blessed me over and over and I know that had more to do with His love for me than my love for Him. Sad right? But it's honest.
So with that lack of love and earnest change, I never worked on my attitudes or myself. If I am doing all of these great things for God on paper, why do I struggle with the exact same problems or character flaws? It's because I didn't "change myself" with intentions of being filled by God and changed by God. I did it with an expectancy. When what I expected from God didn't happen or didn't occur on my timeline, I stopped seeking Him so much. With all these actions I was doing, I began to quit on God and the things I sought Him for in the beginning. I may say we serve a mighty God or loving God but I was paying lip service. Others liked to hear it from me and I wasn't going to rob them of that. Even if my heart was not there, I would not rain on the faith of another. They may have been more genuine in faith than me and I had to assist them. I felt left out. Watching the advancement of others and the stagnancy of my life was terrible. And with that, I felt God shouldn't expect much from me. I was a fool. I turned cold to people. I was sad a lot. Felt cheated by life. Felt I didn't deserve this because I was doing the right things! Oh what fool I was. I hurt a few friendships. Definitely cost myself a good one! Almost lost good people out my life who I am still clinging on to by a loose thread today. I became complacent with life ans self. I let my own lack of faith turn me into a monster in some ways and it has cost me. Sucks right?
True faith is tested. I had been failing the test for years and was too stupid to realize it. Some of us are still failing the test. We believe are action is the key to our Salvation. Our heart and faith is the key to our salvation. Don't fall into the trap of actions. When Pastors are saying God needs the glory from you, they mean it sincerely. When it says Bless Him at all times, that's sincere. The test of true faith is that which is revealed in how one lives and walks through this life. Right belief, that is, a faith that lives in a regenerated heart born from above, is exhibited in right living. If your faith is real, your walk and attitude will align with that of God. That is for God! That is wanting for God! Your aligned faith will put you at peace because you know you're giving your best. You know God is acting for you even if it's not your specific prayer. You are grateful for all else He is setting up around you, the people who love you and try to show you love, the leaders in your life who will make you better, etc. I thank God for helping me. I still am not where I want to be in life but I can't tell you how blessed I feel for Him making you face myself through my professional growth and personal relationships. Trust the real gospel. Do what the real gospel says because you believe in God and His love and you trust Him no matter what. The gospel which wants to change you in and out. The gospel in which you aren't looking only for a blessings but to be a blessing...Be Blessed..