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Summary: THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE WANT GOD TO DO WHAT WE BLIEVE TO BE RIGHT, WITHOUT PRAYING THY WILL BE DONE. WE ESSENTIALLY WANT TO BE IN CONTROL, AND NOT GOD. WE BELIEVE WE KNOW, EVEN BETTER THAN GOD WHAT IS BEST FOR US. HOW WRONG WE ARE!

OVERCOMING COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY

ROMANS 12:1-8

I THINK IT WOULD BE FAIR TO SAY, THAT THIS SERIES HAS PROBABLY LEFT A FEW OF YOU SCRATHCING YOUR HEADS AND WONDERING IF THE PASTOR HAS TAKEN A DIVE OFF THE DEEP END. I ASSURE YOU THAT I HAVEN’T, THOUGH AT TIMES YOU MAY BE RIGHT TO WONDER.

THE FACT IS THAT WHILE YOU MAY DISAGREE WITH THE TERMINOLOGY DR. LARRY CRABB USES IN HIS BOOK, MOST OF YOU WOULD AGREE WITH WHAT DR. CRABB IS SAYING.

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE WANT GOD TO DO WHAT WE BLIEVE TO BE RIGHT, WITHOUT PRAYING THY WILL BE DONE. WE ESSENTIALLY WANT TO BE IN CONTROL, AND NOT GOD. WE BELIEVE WE KNOW, EVEN BETTER THAN GOD WHAT IS BEST FOR US.

DR. CRABB TAKES US DOWN A DIFFICULT ROAD TO DISCOVERY. FIRST WE REALIZE THAT GOD IS GOD AND NOT US. OUR PLAN MAY BE GOOD, AND DONE WITH THE RIGHT INTENTIONS, BUT GOD MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT PLAN IN MIND, THAT INVOLVES GOING THROUGH SOME VERY DIFFICULT TIMES, TIMES WE WOULD NOT CHOOSE ON OUR OWN.

ONLY BY DIVING INTO THE STRUGGLE CAN GOD SAFELY LEAD US THROUGH IT TO A PLACE OF REST AND PEACE IN HIM. HERE IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE. MANY INDIVIDUALS NOT ONLY COME TO CHRIST, BUT HAVE DEEP EMOTIONALLY TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCES WITH THE SAVIOUR, WHILE ON THEIR DEATH BEDS. AT THE END OF THESE ROADS WE OFTEN SEE WHY GOD HAS CHOSEN TO ALLOW US TO FOLLOW THEM. GOD DOES NOT ABANDON US, HE DOES NOT JUST CREATE US AND LET US FEND FOR OURSELVES.

GOD NOT ONLY ALLOWS US TO TRAVEL DIFFICULT ROADS BUT IS THERE WITH US TO GUIDE AND HELP US, SO THAT IN THE END WE WILL KNOW THE PEACE THAT COMES FROM TRUSTING GOD TO GET US THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES.

PAUL WENT THROUGH SOME DIFFICULT TIMES BECAUSE OF HIS FAITH. HE DID NOT FLINCH THOUGH IN THE PRESENTATION OF THE GOSPEL. HE TOLD THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH:

PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

PAUL HAD LEARNED THAT CONTENTMENT AND PEACE WERE NOT FOUND WRAPPED IN THE GARB OF WORLDLINESS. PEACE AND CONTENTMENT ARE FOUND IN CHRIST.

LAST MONDAY, MY WIFE AND I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF VISITING AT THE MINTO FUNERAL HOME. A MAN WHO I HAD GROWN UP WITH, HIS MOTHER USED TO LIVE NEXT DOOR AND BABYSIT ME HAD FOR NO EXPLAINABLE REASON, DIED. HE WAS ONLY 46 YEARS OLD. ONLY FIVE MONTHS BEFORE THIS, HIS SISTER HAD DIED OF CANCER.

THE MOTHER SAID, “I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH MORE OF THIS I CAN TAKE. WHAT WRONG DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?” WHILE WE REASSURED HER THAT SHE HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG, HER UNSPOKEN QUESTION HAUNTED ME. WHAT IS OUR GOOD GOD GOOD FOR IF I MUST GO THROUGH THIS.

THERE IS AN ANSWER FOR THIS, BUT IN ORDER TO GET TO THE TRUE ANSWER, WE MUST FIRST FACE AND OVERCOME A WRONG ANSWER THAT MODERN CHRISTIANITY BRINGS TO THIS QUESTION.

MODERN CHRISTIANITY TEACHES THAT WE SHOULD HAVE A SPIRIT OF ENTITLEMENT. NAME IT AND CLAIM IT, PROSPERITY GOSPEL. WE QUOTE BIBLE VERSES THAT SUPPORT THIS SUCH AS:

PSALM 37:4: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

BUT IN CLAIMING THIS VERSE WE TAKE IT WOEFULLY OUT OF CONTEXT THINKING IT MEANS THAT GOD WILL GIVE US ANYTHING THAT WE ASK FOR.

DR.CRABB WRITES CONCERNING THIS VERSE:

“ AS WE HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE BRILLIANCE OF GOD’S THOUGHTS AND THE BEAUTY OF HIS WAYS, EVEN WHEN THEY MAKE NO SENSE TO OUR FLAWED UNDERSTANDING, WE WILL DISCOVER OUR HEART’S PASSIONATE DESIRE TO KNOW HIM BETTER AND TO TRUST HIM FOR THE GOOD HE IS DOING IN US AND LONGS TO DO THROUGH US.”

THIS SPIRIT OF ENTITLEMENT HAS GIVEN BIRTH TO A COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY FOR CHRISTIANS AND REVOLVES AROUND THIS STATEMENT:

“FOLLOWERS OF JESUS HAVE WARRANT FROM GOD TO ASSUME THAT HE WILL PROVIDE WHATEVER WE MOST WANT OT ENJOY AND TO PROTECT US FROM WHATEVER WE MOST FEAR TO LOSE.

SIMPLY PUT GOD WILL GIVE US WHAT WE WANT AND PROTECT US FROM WHAT WE FEAR. IT IS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT GOD’S THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT IS BEST FOR ME, MATCH MINE, BECAUSE GOD AGREES WITH ME, NOT BECAUSE I HAVE GROWN CLOSE TO HIM. GOD IS NOT SOVEREIGN I AM.

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