No, this isn't a tribute story for the 70's Swedish pop band, ABBA. This post is about our relationship with God. Is it reverential? Or is it casual?
The idea for this post came quite a while ago actually. It was during a prayer of adult and student leaders at our church. Our youth pastor asked one of the students to pray and they led off their prayer this way . . .
"Hey, God . . ."
The first time I heard that I thought "Hey? Isn't that just a little informal?" I mean, we're praying to the King of the Universe. The Holy and Righteous One who destroys nations with a thought, who pours out his wrath on a disobedient people (whom He loves) and who offers up and sacrifices His one and only Son so that WE might be able to share our lives with Him in heaven. He allowed His Son . . . to die! "Hey, God?" No.
I was watching Wretched TV the other day, one of the few television shows I actually watch. Host Todd Friel was talking about the word "Abba." He spoke of how, in recent times, the evangelical church has embraced the word Abba and defined it as meaning "Daddy" or "Poppa," implying that that's how our relationship with God should be. However most scholars now say that Abba means "Father, dear Father."
Remember when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray? It wasn't "Hey Dad! What up?" No. It was "Our Father which art in heaven. HALLOWED be your name."
We as a people seem to have lost our FEAR of God. Not that we should be AFRAID of God but . . . well . . . yes, now that I think about it, we should be. Too often my prayers reflect someone praying to a genie rather than to . . . well, someone like "The Great and Powerful Oz!"
Remember in the movie the Wizard of Oz? Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion all stood before The Mighty Oz. Dorothy was very respectful. Then, when the Tin Man spoke to the Wizard rather casually, Oz yelled, "Silence! You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!" Yikes!
I think that's because, for the most part, when our prayers are met with silence, we tend to think we're all good to go with God. When in actuality we may be on the very brink of blasphemy. Humbling ourselves before the Lord should be the norm, not the rarity used only when we REALLY want something.
I went walking with my friend the other day and we spotted a rather large ant crossing the path ahead of us. My friend went out of her way and stomped the ant out of existence. God has the power to do the same thing to us if we wishes. Yet, even though we disrespect Him, God still takes the abuse. Why? I think it's because God is VERY patient. And He actually DOES love us.
Our lives are a mere speck in time. We are VERY insignificant. We are VERY small. Yet we as a people tend to act just like we are just the opposite. We act like we're the boss of our own lives and we can do whatever we want. That is the wrong attitude people! We should consider ourselves as slaves (Romans 1). We should do God's bidding and obey every command.
Have you ever said something like this? "I don't feel like going to church today." Or what about, "I was too busy to pray this morning." Oh, and here's MY personal favorite. The one I use WAY too often. "I just didn't FEEL like praying today."
No, you get down on your knees and pray. Now BOB! We are commanded to pray, people. It is NOT an option!! It is not left up to our discretion or to when we feel like.
So, my question for today is this . . . what will it take for us to fear God again? A national disaster? Yeah, that would work! A tornado seems to get people praying. Or an earthquake! Yeah, an earthquake! Seriously? Let's get real. What would it take?
How about this for an idea. What if we TOTALLY made Jesus Lord of our lives. And I mean TOTALLY. Make God the focal point of every activity instead of a footnote and the end of the day. We need to give God our first fruits, give Him our best. It's in the Bible!! We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and fear for our very lives - because HE is God. WE are not.
The God we SHOULD be worshipping is NOT the God most people worship today. We live in a "Christian" world where Jesus WANTS us and He NEEDS us. We must "die" to that world and become transformed (Romans 12:2) into a world where God is everything, the ONLY thing. We should NOT be worshipping a politically correct, all roads lead to heaven, your best life now Jesus. God is NOT politically correct! God is God!
Yes, God loves us. Why do you think he gave up His one and only Son to die for us? Let's live like we appreciate what was done for us! Let us not live the "Yeah, but what have you done for me lately" life we seem to be living today.
I'd like you to watch this video. It's part of a Voddie Baucham sermon on this very topic. It is an excellent example of where we have come to as a people and an example of where it is we need to get to.
A Sissified Needy Jesus by Voddie Baucham