Tuesday, April 1, 2014

God is so good he takes care of all my needs. . .

God is so good that He knows and covers all my needs.  That was the gist of a song that came on while I was searching for a radio station in the rental I was driving.  God is so good that He supplies all my needs and therefore I will praise Him.

I had to think about that before it quickly dawned on me that this is the most self-centered and selfish of ways to approach God.  Is it really any different than saying "God does what I want and therefore I will love Him, praise Him, and serve Him..."?  But it IS the way we tend to think about Him -- the unqualified and unfiltered way that the natural man sees and knows God and conditions his faith in God.

God's goodness has nothing to do with me and my needs.  It is His nature.  His goodness is not His choice (sometimes to be given and other times to be withheld).  It is His nature and being.  That goodness is neither conditioned upon my needs being met or defined by those needs being met.  God's goodness is a goodness by nature.  His goodness then is manifest in His creation (and He saw that it was very good).  His redemptive work is gravy.  It is goodness upon goodness, grace upon grace.  Yet because of sin, His goodness is unknown to us.  We see Him with suspicion and fear.  Sin has so corrupted our hearts that His goodness is hidden to us.  His redemptive work is the lens through which we see that goodness anew, where the Spirit works in us to awaken the realization and awareness of the goodness and sufficiency of His grace.

It seems to me that so much of pop Christianity makes man the center of things instead of God.  It makes God's goodness dependent upon me and my needs being met.  It conditions our response to God upon getting from Him what we seek, what we want, what we define as our needs.  The song I heard at least admitted what appears to be real and terrible truth -- God is my servant.  Now this does not mean that God has become my servant in the way that Jesus describes in Mark 10.  No, this is not the redemptive service of the sacrificial Savior who dies in my stead.  God has become my servant because He gives me what I want and what I seek from Him -- and my praise of Him is conditioned upon this willingness to deliver to me what I want or need.

This is certainly a grave temptation to all Christians but it is surely the effect of Christ crucified no longer being the core and content of our preaching.

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