Do I want Jesus OR a Genie in a bottle?
Recently, I was heading out the door to go and meet with a friend of mine or coffee. As I was getting ready to leave the house my daughter came running up to me, hugged my neck, looked up at me and smiled & said, “Daddy!”
So…what did I do? I did what ANY dad would have done at that point…I stopped in my tracks, picked her up and gave her a big hug! It felt so wonderful to receive attention from my child and I REALLY was enjoying that moment…
She looked at my sunglasses on my face & said, “ooooooh” and reached for it.
Let me explain…
A few days earlier we had been shopping when i bought them and she was enamored with them them. Additionally she had been wearing them around the house and playing with them (even after i asked her to stop) all morning long. She walked around the house with it…and even tried to put it on her head, like daddy. When it was time to leave I took it from her and told her I had to go and that is when she ran after me and began to give me attention.
You see her attention and affection was not because she wanted to be close to me but because of what I had that she wanted. As I sat there thinking about this for a second God spoke to my heart and said, “This is the way you treat the Gospel many times!”
I am so guilty of times in my past where I prayed like crazy, raised my hands in worship, made HUGE promises and so on but NOT because I was in awe of who He is, but rather I wanted something from Him and falsly assumed that if I did the right things and gave Him enough attention that He would finally break and fulfill my selfish desires. THAT IS RELIGION! THAT IS REPUGNANT!
God knows my heart! He knows my mind! He knows my motives and He will not be tricked or deceived by empty worship.
One of the things I’ve been continually praying over the past year or so is for Jesus to continually make my motives pure and if there is ANYTHING in me that is not of Him to help me see it and get it out of my life. It’s not the easiest process to go through but it’s been incredibly liberating!
At the end of the day I am praying that I will not want what I think Jesus can give me…but simply just want Jesus! It’s a battle and I think there will always be a struggle to try and manipulate Him but it simply cannot be done.
So how about you? Are you pursuing Jesus, OR are you just after you believe He can give you? Just something to think about today! I wish I were an expert on this, but I am struggling just like most of you are. However, in His grace, mercy and patience He is blowing my mind as I work through this. I hope you will work through this as well!