My friend William is one of a kind.
While pursuing his Economics degree at University, he once ran short of money and decided to walk into the examination room without full tuition. He says all he needed in this particular examination was to attempt just one number and that would enable him go past the 50% pass mark and hence avoid a retake.
So the examination day arrived, and William sighed with delight as one invigilator passed him.
His luck however ran out on the second route- you guessed right – he was nabbed!
As if it wasn’t enough, his answer sheets were torn (Proof that some lecturers need extra grace… lol)
William’s dialogue with God thereafter is what fascinated however.
He says he wondered why God who “owned thousand cattle on the hills” (Psalm 50:10) wouldn’t simply sell just one of his cows and foot his tuition balance of just 400,000.
I mean,seriously .But wait, haven’t we all wondered?
Why would a good God…?
And it’s not easy to find answers to such questions in these days when we almost treat God like our houseboy.
We come “Here is my shopping list Lord”
1. Nice marriage
In what has been known as the “Prosperity gospel”, we are told God wants to “bless us” if we can only “increase our faith”. Author Mark Driscoll has described this phenomenon as “Religious idolatry” he says,
“It (prosperity gospel) uses God for health, wealth, success, and the like. In this grotesque inversion of the gospel, God is used for our glory, as if not only are we supposed to worship ourselves, but God is also to be a worshiper of us. This kind of false gospel preaching is evident whenever Jesus is presented as the means by which an idolater can obtain his idol. Examples include Jesus being presented as the one who promises to make you rich, happy, healed, joyfully married, and parentally successful.”
I’ve always thought of this as only a televangelist problem, but now, I –scaringly- see it in my own heart. My growth in Christ likeness is always threatened by the golden cattle in my life. Marriage, nice job, blah.
It’s as if the finish line of my Christianity is getting married and rather than becoming like Jesus.
Maybe that’s what Theologian John Calvin saw when he wrote.
“The human heart is a factory of idols”.
Like my friend William – who has since graduated and married meanwhile- am learning that God is not my houseboy and that “I have been appointed not only to live for Christ but also suffer for him (Phil 1:29)”.
Yes, Jesus was “blessed (Rom 9:5) ” but he was also “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief(Isaiah 53:3)” who “learnt obedience through things he suffered (Heb 5:8)“ . Yes that’s in our Bible too!
Am keeping all this in mind next time trouble knocks, that God is not my cosmic servant.
I hope I will be in good company.