Summary: A reminder that God is not a cosmic genie in a bottle!
“I Dream of Genie”
“But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.”
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Matt. 6: 7-10 NIV
“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
Several years ago there was a show on television called: “I Dream of Jeannie.” The show was about an astronaut: Major Roger Nelson, who upon returning to earth from a space flight, found himself marooned on a deserted island. It was while he was on this island that he found a bottle which contained a female genie that he later named “Jeannie!” The running plot of the series consisted of Major Nelson being involved in a relentless attempt to mask the antics of this genie who had sworn herself to do his every bidding and to fulfill his every desire. All she had to do was blink her eyes and shake her head and his wish was her command!
Well, I was talking to a brother the other day and we were talking about the general state of the people of God in America today. In this conversation, we were both distressed over how, many people who claim to be the children of God are acting like they are the parents and God is the child! I said that they act like God is some sort of Divine “bell-boy” who sits up in Heaven, waiting to answer their every beck and call! “Yes!” He said, “They think that God is a genie!” It is from that conversation that the inspiration for this sermon was birthed.
I looked up the word “genie” in one of my dictionaries and it said that a genie is: “A supernatural being who does one’s bidding when summoned.” I thought about that definition and I have concluded that many people have a “genie concept” of God! They want Him to come whenever they call and they want Him to do whatever they want! Many of those of the “Name-it-and-claim-it” camp would have us to believe that the Lord’s only function and purpose is to bless us! Now I don’t mind telling you that I am glad that the Lord is in the “blessing business!” But this is by no means His sole interest in the lives of His people! Yes! The Lord is bountiful in His blessings, but I think we need to be reminded that He blesses us not primarily to serve our purposes, but rather to serve His! We can be so arrogant and naive; we think that everything is about us! But, it’s not about us; it’s about Him! Even the blessings we receive are not about us! He blesses us so that we might be a blessing to somebody else, I used to think that the Cross-event was about us! But I found out that even our salvation is not about us! He redeemed us so that His name might be glorified! In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord revealed to the prophet in chapter 36 His rationale for reviving Israel from amongst the nations. Listen to the message that was given to the prophet: “I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land. I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. Therefore say to the house of Israel, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” (Ez. 36:19-24 NIV)