Hello lovely people,
It’s another beautiful week and there is something quite disturbing that has really challenged me and I believe God wants me to share with us.
You remember Casting Crowns? There is this line in their famous song “somewhere in the middle:”
“With eyes wide open to the differences,
the God we want and the God who is,
but will we trade our dreams for his
or are we caught in the middle.”
I haven’t stopped thinking about those words.
Sometimes in life we unconsciously mould our own ‘god’ and worship him thinking we are worshiping God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This has been the bane of modern day Christianity which for the purpose of this article, I choose to call churchianity- considering yourself a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ) simply because you go to church. This has led to a fierce battle between creating the God we want and accepting the God who is.
Churchianity is a shelter for many folks who have refused to plunge deep into a personal relationship with Christ; they hide under the umbrella of their denomination and expect God to follow them on their own terms. Just before we throw stones, let’s look deeply into our lives so we won’t be caught in this web.
Those practicing churchianity are those who want God to behave in a certain way to suit their needs. They are men who still see God as a means to an end. They have ‘customized’ God and tailor-made him to fit into their box.
Let me first say this: the ultimate aim of God’s workings in your life is to conform you to the image of his dear son Jesus Christ. This he intends to achieve through different ways including experiences he takes you through. Some of them sweet, some painful, some confusing, yet some are beyond our human comprehension but we know it’s for our good.
A disciple of Christ doesn’t get to pick and choose what to go through, he simply leaves his boat like Peter and follows the Master, but not so with one practicing churchianity.
To practice churchianity is to want a God who will give you all that your soul desires without telling you how to use them, a God who will not bind you with rules and commandments but let you live as you like, carefully eliminating the consequences of your actions.
It is to expect God to be at your beck and call, make you happy and meet your every demand.
If you observe more closely, you will discover that nowadays, men love Christianity and all it offers, but they want it on their terms, they want to set the rules and boundaries and then tag God along- “get all you want, just make sure you put God in it.” Sounds noble, right?
The unspoken demand of churchianity is: “We know sin is bad and it displeases you but dear Lord, how about we determined what is sin and what is not? Like, God why not say: you can steal, but don’t make it a habit; just a little here and there and don’t be armed too. You can have a side chick but be smart about it and don’t let your wife find out, make sure you still love her and provide for her.
As for lying, I don’t like it but if the condition demands… emmm, I will understand, but it mustn’t be all the time o, just occasionally especially if something important is at stake.
Don’t bother to read your bible regularly and pray only when you are in trouble and need my help. And lest I forget, you see the whole holiness thingy, yes, strike it out already. It’s not that important these days.”
Churchianity demands control, though a little. It says:
“Lord, I have given you my life you can have my all but Alex, awww, I love him deeply and I can’t give him up. He is really a nice guy and what we do is called love in the society where I live, we just can’t help ourselves. My biology teacher says it’s because of our hormones and it’s our time now. Besides body no be firewood.”
In another voice it says: “Have all the control you wish over my academics but not my money and how I dress, you are old fashioned and don’t know what’s in vogue.”
“Lord, I want to be permitted to be your child and still have a taste of all that goes on in the world…just a little pleaseee.”
“I will give you 10% of all my earnings so you can leave me alone to spend the 90% the way I want; after all I have paid you off.”
Another expression of Churchianity is seen when folks go to church because they are looking for a good wife, a car, a big house, a making sense job, protection or promotion. You will see them laboring fervently in God’s vineyard, they can give all their salary to the work of God, they can even fast and pray all their lives for these things. Yet one arm is stretched out asking, “God, see what I am doing for you what will you give me in return?”
Hence the only difference between them and the native doctor is that he worships a physical object inside a bush in the village while they worship the object in their mind in an air-conditioned, state of the art facility in a big city.
Let me shock you: do you know that the primary aim of your salvation is not to have your material needs met, it is only an addition? The primary goal is to be reconciled back to the Father, to have peace with him and enjoy constant fellowship with him, to know Christ and become like him in all things.
Do you know that your faith in God is not a means to get anything your heart desires but a means to obey God and please him? It is by faith that men pleased God and obtained a good report. You can die pleasing God, you can die with your prayers unanswered (though heard), men may look at you with spite yet in Gods sight he sees your faith and is pleased.
God is a father and a judge too, he has precepts and commandments and if you must be his disciple, you must turn from your own way and follow his.
God is calling us to leave the petty things men are chasing after and pursue him, to drop all our schemes and follow his plan.
Stop using God to make yourself popular or to bring your dreams to fulfillment, as good as they may be, that’s not what he desires. It’s either you trade your dream for his or cling to them and create your own ‘god’, there is no middle ground.
God wants to be served on his own terms, he wants to be loved yet revered and feared. It is time to leave the crowded places where men are after the God they want and come up to meet the God who is.
You may need to sit down and make up your mind, decide whether you really want to follow God or not. Before you say yes, you must understand that you are to serve him because of who he is and what he has done for us in Christ, not to meet your needs.
Remember, God is not a means to your ends; He is the beginning and the end. Let go of that God you want and embrace the God who is.
Have a blessed week