Ever since I got married, one of the things I tried to save time is to iron all my shirts at once. Since it is a mindless activity, I will go to Youtube and listen to a sermon or two. Lately, I’ve been listening to Ravi Zacharias.
Ravi was preaching the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4. The second temptation was when satan took Jesus to the top of the temple and asked him to jump down.
He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’Matthew 4:6b (NIV)
To which Jesus replied:
‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Ravi used this temptation as an example of how we often use God. He joked that as long as school have math exams, there will always be a reason for prayers!
How funny. How tragic.
How often do we, do I, reduce God to merely a genie in the bottle. I called on Him ONLY when I need help. If we reduce to calling God merely for our needs and wants, then we are god and He is just a tool in our pocket.
I still remembered when I first got into triathlon in 2005. I told God I will train hard and win first prize to bring Him glory. The truth is, as I look back, I was merely chasing my own glory. Of course, in front of others, especially Christians, it sounded great. I am doing something for the Lord. Amen!
But thanks be to God for He never made me fast. I never made to the podium. Not by a long shot! God didn’t gave me a, ‘ha, see how sinful you are.‘ I was sinful but He was very graceful in showing how far I fall short. Slowly, He humbled me and conformed me for His purpose.
In 2009, I competed for the last time. It was the World Transplant Games in Australia. I was competing for 5 km bike time trial and 5 km running race. Before the race, my prayer was no longer winning. It was to glorify Him regardless of winning or losing. If winning equate to not giving Him glory, I do not want.
The saddest part is that in church I see individuals who are gung ho for Jesus and want to do something for Him. But deep down, their desire is to lift themselves and their own pride. This is what sin is. It is not merely a list of wrong things we do. It is the intention to say we are in control and we do not need God. It is the rebellious selfish spirit with lustful eyes to fulfill our salviting plans.
It can be…
- a business deal
- getting things – car, house, gadgets, toys…
- a relationship, a family
- meeting friends’ expectation
… the list can go on and on.
As a Christian, for those who say they follow Jesus, we must examine our own lives and motives.
- Why am I so bent on wanting to get ______ (insert the thing you want)?
- Have we ever stop and ponder why this one thing is so important in our lives?
- Is this one thing become our identity?
- Is our lives incomplete without it?
How do we know unless we kneel before the Lord and let His Spirit convicts us?
I love what Paul say in Galatians…
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Galatians 5:24 (NIV)
May we live our lives seeking His Glory and not flaunting our own.
He must become greater; I must become less.John 3:30 NIV