Over the weekend I've been giving some thought to the question, what do I really want? The standard answer for a Christian is Jesus but do we just want Jesus or do we want Jesus plus something else? Is there a difference?
A number of years ago, I attended a women's conference where Anne Graham Lotz posed this question. She challenged us to examine our hearts. Could we honestly say we just wanted Jesus or did we want Jesus and ________ (fill in the blank).
What goes in the blank, you ask? Well that depends on the individual. We want" Jesus and financial security". We want "Jesus and fame". We want "Jesus and perfect health". We want "Jesus and the perfect spouse/children". You get the idea.
Now financial security, doing great things, having good health, a good marriage and great kids are not bad things. The problem occurs when we put them at the same level of importance as God. Did I just hear some gasps, "I would never do that?" Are you sure?
I want you to think about the times in your life when you have faced disappointment. You had a financial crisis, you failed miserably, you were diagnosed with cancer or some other terrible disease, you were permanently injured, your marriage went from bad to worse and your children... oh... don't even go there! During those times have you ever once thought, "I'm a Christian so this shouldn't be happening?" Why not?
If our relationship with God is conditional on our part, those conditions are idols. Did I hear another gasp? I realize that sounds very strong but think about it very carefully for a moment. Anything set on par with God is an idol. Do we just want Jesus or do we want Jesus plus something else?
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There in no debate, for you are correct in every word you have written. Our problem is often not with the bad in our heart but the good that when the chips are down we turn to without a second thought to God.