I've noticed a recurring theme as I've been working my way through the Psalms. A desperate-cryingout-pleading-NEED for God. They NEED His direction, encouragement, correction, discernment, and His agape love. They are seeking Him. Night and day.
What I have not seen in the Psalms is, "Hmmm, I guess God might fight into my life... as long as He doesn't try to rearrange anything. I've sort of got everything the way I like it. Could I just have a nonfat version, maybe with some extra comfort on the side. Nothing too heavy, please. Oh, and put it in a cool, designer, eco-friendly cup; something my friends will like." There's no browsing in the Psalms. There are bloody knees from bowing, tear stained tunics, sweat streaming down the head, hunger from fasting, sleepless nights praying, there is dedication. And I want it.
Has this consumer-oriented culture infiltrated my view of God? Do I order-up God just the way I want Him? Do I take the easy and none of the difficult? I remind myself: to follow Him is to deny myself. (Mark 8:34)
I want to seek Him. Not satisfied without Him, only the Real Deal will do. No nonfat imitation for me, thanks. I need real direction, encouragement, correction, strength, forgiveness, agape. I need Jesus. Not a cliche for crying out loud. Not a trinket. Not even positive thinking. Not the trendiest god for the cheapest price, not the Old N@vy version. Jesus, the Real One.
And I want to point other seekers to Him, too. We've all heard the term seeker sensitive. It can be very slippery. Some are genuinely pointing seekers to the Throne of Grace, where everything they've ever needed can be found (forgiveness, agape, restoration, direction). Perhaps the others should call themselves "browser sensitive" just so they don't confuse people.
Browser sensitive is trying to get the sale. It is the misleading sales lady that says you look great in that skirt that is clearly too small and gives you muffin top. It is not providing real answers for real life. It is offering trendy cliches at minimal cost. Nobody has to deny themself, nothing has to change. You can just go on with your life and hopefully you feel a little better now that you have that new hideous too small skirt that gives you a muffin top. Oh, and don't tell her she's got 2 feet of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. Browser sensitive is lame-o.
How about honesty as a strategy instead? Let's shoot people straight. Truth sets people free. Jesus sets people free. Jesus cares about people. Even people that are just browsing and not yet seeking should have to opportunity to hear the Truth.
Here, instead of that hideous skirt, try this on instead:
*God loves you so much more than you can ever possibly even fathom. He knows everything about you and STILL loves you that much!
*Following Him is at it's very core to deny myself. I cannot follow Him while trying to serve myself and give into every whimsy or desire that comes across my path. To choose Him is to unchoose myself.
*The journey with Him will be exhilirating at times and exhausting at times, but it's always worth it.
*The Bible is trustworthy, useful, and complete. I would guess this one is unappealing to most browsers since it is controversial and often counter-cultural. But it is historically accurate, it's prophesies are dependable and many have already been fulfilled, it is consistent and harmonious, (although written in 3 languages by over 40 authors, over 1500 years, on 3 continents), it is scientifically accurate, and it has the power to transform lives for good. You can read more about the Bible's trustworthiness here.
Now, who's up for some shopping? All this talk makes me want to look for a new skirt. Is that bad?