Devotionals, Faith

A Means or An End?

Is God a means or an end?

Is God what I want or is God how I get what I want?

Maybe that question isn’t one that speaks to you. Maybe it’s too deep. Maybe it’s not deep enough.

But it’s one I’m wrestling with right now…

Is God what I want or is God how I get what I want?

Do I want God? Or do I want Him to help me do something? It struck me this morning as I was reading about having an encounter with Christ that affects every part of your life. We often hear that Jesus was the example in this. He would often withdraw to quiet places so he could have an encounter with His Father. Therefore, we are told, we need to have quiet moments with God so that we too can do the works of Christ.

And doesn’t Jesus himself re-enforce this idea of God being the means to an end when he says this in John 15:5If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing (emphasis mine). Apart from Christ, I can do nothing. So therefore, I need Christ to accomplish more. I need the power of Christ to build my ministry, to raise my kids, to grow my business, to preach a good sermon, to write a good article, to cook a good meal, to build a great sandcastle.

This is the place I find myself in sometimes. God, I need your help to preach this sermon. God, I love you, help me to give work my best today. I am using God. I am manipulating, or rather, attempting to manipulate God to accommodate me… No, not merely accommodate me, but to satisfy me. I am committing idolatry. Wait, what? I desire God, so I am committing idolatry?

I sure am. What is the first commandment? To have no other gods before The Lord. In the place that I am, I have removed God from the throne. We have switched places from what ought to be. Instead of me being His servant, He is now mine. The relationship is real, but it exists to serve my wants and my needs, however noble they may be.

It is the pinnacle of arrogance. The idea that I know better than God. That my goals and ambitions are superior to His. That my needs are more important than His plan. It stops asking, “What is God’s will for me,” and insists, “God, this IS your will for me.”

God, are you enough for me? Just you. Not your power. Not even your strength… But just you. Will my heart be satisfied with you, the one who has been pursuing me? Or will I continue to delude myself with chasing after something You in Your providence could provide?

God, I need you, because apart from you I can do nothing… Apart from you, I am nothing. Apart from you, there is nothing.

God, I need you, because apart from you I can do nothing… Apart from you, I am nothing. Apart from you, there is nothing.

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