Wednesday, March 9, 2011

embracing overindulgence

If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, "I will preach to you of wine and strong drink," he would be the preacher for this people!
Micah 2:11

God was taking Israel to task for their cushy overindulgence. They did not care who they hurt. There were those who kicked back and in affluence planned their next attempt at evil (Micah 2:1). These were the kinds of people who wanted to be encouraged for their self-driven lifestyles. And they would find ways to be motivated in their sin.

The sad matter is that it is easy for God's people to go here. If we think that God is only interested in our personal satisfaction, we will fall for the wind and lies of a pampered life. The sarcasm of verse eleven might mark us. In fact, in some evangelical circles, it already has. Christianity has been reduced to a self-help therapeutic feel-good harmless philosophy. And all I reap from it is personal affluence.

But there is more to real Christian spirituality than this. God wants us to step beyond ourselves and our desire to have it easy. Jesus taught that a rough and narrow road awaited those on the path to life. (Matthew 7:13-14) It is in hiking this strenuous thin path that we find life. And the exhilaration of the journey and the views along the way are worth the effort. There is nothing overindulgent... not wind and lies to deceive us. Just the assurance that Jesus has walked this kind of focused path before us.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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