Coming back to the United States after having spent half a year abroad has helped me to understand the frustration I have often heard in missionary voices as they talk to Americans. We, generally speaking as a nation, do not understand the Reality of the war between good and evil. It is sad to say, but to most Americans, our God is not really Real to us, He is more like a fairy god-mother with her magic wand that is supposed to give us whatever we ask for, or a cosmic vending machine that dispenses whatever we desire when we put in the appropriate amount of money. Is America a fulfillment of Revelation 3:14-17; “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (ESV)
I was struck with this thought the other day as I and my husband were sitting in our vehicle along the side of the road waiting for a tow service to come take us to the nearest auto repair facility that my relationship with my heavenly Father was not manifesting Paul’s counsel to the Philippians – to rejoice in all things, and again I say rejoice, but was more of complaint, pleading, begging, frustration, and then resignation. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time I was expecting God to be my fairy god-mother and just “heal” our vehicle with his magic wand and get us back on the road so we wouldn’t be so inconvenienced by this mechanical failure. I didn’t see myself as using God in this manner then, it was only in the long wait for the tow truck with darkness and the cold settling in around us that the quiet voice of the Ruach whispered in my soul, “you are expecting God to be your fairy god-mother; He is your Father, All Mighty, All Powerful, All Knowing, respect Him as such, He knows where you are, He knows what you need.” Immediately upon hearing those words in my spirit tears sprang to my eyes for I recognized the truth of His rebuke.
In our day to day personal relationships do we get to the place of taking our loved ones for granted? Do we just expect them to do things for us because that’s their job? Do we become lazy in maintaining our relationships with an attitude of ‘who cares’? And then when trouble arises do we expect them to be there, johnnie on the spot with the answers? But why should they? Relationships, good ones anyway, are a two-way road; going and coming, giving and taking.
We have spent the last six months living outside of the United States. The country where we were spending our time was very westernized and contemporary. They have all the entertainment, food, wine, fashion that we as Americans have access to; they have democratic government, well-paying jobs, an advanced educational system, lots of economic opportunities, high rate of home ownership; they are living the “American” dream, or so it seems. Paul McGuire wrote a piece that was posted on News With Views
that I would like to quote a small segment of here:
We live in a world where the majority of the inhabitants have been programmed genetically and through media like television, drugs, and public education to think in a very narrow bandwidth. As such, when they begin to perceive danger or crisis, they create choices and solutions inside the same narrow bandwidth. In short, they cannot think beyond their programming.
Where we spent the last six months sports is the national “god” and humanism is the national religion. Independent thought doesn’t seem to be a common commodity and indoctrination to the philosophy of whatever is for the greater good rules the day with the greater good being a full-scale implementation of the UN’s Agenda 21. And here you have a recipe for luke-warmness; looking to yourself – your own resources – for solutions to problems much greater than you can solve. How do a people become luke-warm? When they turn their heart away from God being their all-n-all and begin looking to Him only when they need something; when they begin to view God as a fairy god-mother with a magic wand or a cosmic vending machine in which money is deposited and out pops the desired request. And eventually they even stop thinking about God and buy satan’s oldest lie – I can do whatever I need, whenever I need it, myself; I am my own god.
Where once Americans knew how to endure and persevere through hardship, we have since become soft and entitled; where once Americans were bold to speak the truth we have now become cowardly and/or politically correct; where once Americans were willing to die for what they believed we now watch from the safety of our living room flat screen TV as others die horrible deaths at the hands of tyrannical terrorists and mutter at least it’s them and not me. Where once we supported Israel, we now let anti-Semitism spread across the land in unfettered abandon. Where once we cherished our children we now allow them to be killed before they have an opportunity to take their first breath and champion this murder as a woman’s right to choose. We have become a luke-warm people who still may have some expectation of God answering our cry in a crisis as if He were a fairy god-mother whose sole duty it is to grant us our every wish and desire. We, it is sad to say, in this state have become utterly distasteful to our Heavenly Father.
Is it no wonder then that YHVH must allow all manner of affliction to come upon His people so we will turn from our Laodicean ways and seek His face; repent, humble ourselves, and pray.
1Peter 5:8-10 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (ESV)
Wake-up America! God is more than a fairy god-mother with a magic wand. He is relational. In Leviticus 11:44a we read; “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy…” To be in relationship with God is to be holy as He is holy and that my friend, is as far from luke-warmness as one can get. Come, make the journey back to hot won’t you? Make the decision today before it’s too late…and then act on it!
2Chronicles 7:13-14; When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (ESV)