I find it amusing to say the least, at the number of invites I get to Christian “pages”, groups and events with a huge statement “You will be blessed if you joined”! Most of these invites are from random people who don’t know me at all and I suppose even those who do know of me really don’t know me either to invite me with those words in the first place. Some of these people have seen my comment on another Christian page whereby someone’s devotional or status has touched me or encouraged me.
Such invitations say a lot to me about the individuals themselves and where they stand in God – i.e. their belief system.
First of all, how do you like it when someone keeps coming to talk to you with the one motive of getting something from you… and it repeatedly happens? That’s what it’s all about? Well, frankly I very much dislike that… In my eyes, relationships have to be two-way… and by this I don’t mean in regards of resources but rather of love.. Ok, perhaps the term ‘mutual’ would be more apt than two-way. I’m sure most of you, if not all of you, would agree with me on this count.
However, we do this very thing with God… We approach Him with the motive of getting – getting a blessing.. and it’s that very attitude that spills over when we invite someone for something saying, “You will be blessed”. Our concept or definition of blessing is so distorted. First of all, we don’t seem to have understood or internalised being sons and daughters of the living God, chosen by Him, is the most awesome blessing any one of us can have. When we have His love, nothing else compares to that… His love encompasses His discipline and truth as much as it does grace and mercy.. They go hand in hand.
However, people go to God to get what they think is a blessing – financial abundance and whatever else their flesh yearns for… They live with the values of the world and believe that as a Christian we now can ‘demand’ all this from God.. And thus they believe that they are spiritually superior to those around them…
The Christian walk is about RELATIONSHIP… A love relationship between us and God and us and each other. The Bible is clear that we are all different parts of the body and the head of the body is Christ. Scripture is also clear that we are all equal and we have different roles… and the different gifts in accordance to our calling and the purpose is for mutual edification. Yes, I’m also human with my shortcomings and failures and weaknesses. As much as God uses me as His vessel in other peoples lives, He uses other people as vessels in my life… It is not about blessing but rather about growth – growth in God and thus growth in relationship.
We don’t HAVE to join a FB page where they share a different Bible verse every day to be blessed! We are already blessed if we have indeed confessed our sins, repented and embraced Jesus Christ as the Saviour of our lives.. Through Him we have relationship and thus growing intimacy with our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us revelation and convicts us and counsels us.
Just like when we are babies we need to be fed with milk, when we are infants in Christ we need to be taught, we need spiritual milk. However, as we grow into mature adults in Christ (this is not the same as the physical age), we then move to spiritual food. Paul rebukes those who are forever wanting to be fed when they should now be feeding others…
If we have a relationship with God, if we truly are intimate with God – we will have a surrendered heart to Him and it won’t be about the blessings… If we have a relationship with God, we will be extending the love we receive from Him to others and we will respect one another knowing that we are inter-dependent on each other… irregardless of age or gender. People who stand in the ‘limelight’ shouldn’t assume they are spiritually superior to the one who isn’t… I know many spiritually strong people who work behind the scenes, without a name or title.. and I also know many people who are in the limelight who aren’t rooted in God’s Word.
Jesus Himself rebuked a few people who were doing ‘mighty’ things in His Name – from casting out demons to prophesying… In fact, He called them EVIL DOERS!! He says He doesn’t know them… the very people who were doing all these ‘ministries’ in His very Name, He claims not to know! What is Jesus actually saying? They didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. What is the ‘lesson’ that you learn from this? Is it safe to say that people who promote ‘ministry’ for ‘blessing’ will end up missing the boat? Well, Jesus makes it clear that the place for evil doers is in the eternal fire.
The more our relationship with God deepens, the fruit of the Spirit will be increasingly evident too.. That may be ‘put on’ but authenticity will be tried and tested.. Our growth in God depends on our relationship with Him.. It is not about how well we ‘talk’ to Him and demand from Him – Jesus cautioned us not to be like the hypocrites uttering lengthy prayers with meaningless words.. Instead, it’s about a surrendered heart that LISTENS to His voice… and is able to discern what is of Him and what is of the world as one studies His Word, not as isolated verses but rather as a whole – in context of the entire WORD and in it’s settings (cultural, historical, physical, geographical etc).
I’m not saying events and pages and groups and blogs for that matter too should be avoided. No, they can be helpful… However, they are just supplements and to be treated as that and we need to be pretty selective… The staple diet does not and should not come from these sources and the supplements have to be tested…
We need to remember when we approach these ‘supplements’ that they are useful if they help us look at things from different angles. It is an era where many Christian meetings mirror the value of that of the world – expecting things for the self, to live a luxurious life. Remember, Jesus made it very clear that in this life we WILL have trouble but He assures us that He gives peace NOT AS the world gives.. That’s where the testimony is.
A good “supplement” will point to relationship with God through Jesus and also with others.. with the basis being love.