A buffet lunch

By Dave Henning / August 17, 2016

” . . . such a view [God’s presence=no pain] treats Scripture as a buffet lunch where we pick and choose what we want to swallow about God.”- Dr. Wayne Stiles

As Wayne Stiles continues Chapter 6 of Waiting on God, he asks you to say the following statement out loud.  To really make the statement hit home, fill in the blanks with your name and substitute your circumstance:

“The Lord is with (your name) and (your name) is in a difficult job . . . financial hole.”

Believe it or not, you haven’t spoken contradictory statements.  God walks alongside you in your struggle.

Dr. Stiles understands we fervently desire God to be “with us.”  However, do we really want the waiting and subsequent refining that come along with that fervent desire?  Consequently, the author asserts, we easily duck the issue by tending to equate God’s presence with the absence of pain:

“Honestly, we often prefer a ‘safe’ life that never gets us hurt.  But that life seldom recognizes God’s hand.  That’s why he leads us, like it or not, along a path that includes struggle.”

Furthermore, that struggle produces character.  In addition, the definition of character means more than morality.  Dr. Stiles underscores that “character finds itself inseparably linked to our relationship with God.”  We deepen our relationship with God by responding well to the trials he allows.

Although we cannot choose how we’ll struggle, we can choose our response to our struggle.  As Dr. Stiles concludes, we must distinguish between our significance in serving God and our significance to God:

“When we find ourselves dissatisfied with what God has us doing, it could reveal that we’ve confused our significance in serving God with our significance to God.  Our relationship with God remains more important to him than our ministry for him.  That’s huge.  We serve God from the overflow of our relationship to him, not as an aside to it.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you counter a buffet lunch approach to God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Demonstrate faith”



About the author

Dave Henning

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