Our culture today is tuned into WIFM (What’s In It For Me?). You see people you once trusted, fall from grace. You see war, famine and earthquakes that are unexplainable. Dark secrets are exposed and anything that has to do with God is shut out and taken off the air.
A few years ago I gave a sermon called, Get Off Your Altar and Die. For so many people in our church, it is one of their favorite I’ve given (Audio posted under image). In this sermon I said this, “We love being in control of our lives.That means, we place everything else outside of our lives. Because we are a very self-centered people we don’t allow others to have a say into how we run our lives. We live on the ALTAR OF SELF!.”
This is our comfort zone, the place in which is easiest for us… yet it is also the loneliest place to be. The more we complain about our situations, the more we whine, the more we try and take things into our own hands… WE WILL FAIL!
Jer. 9:23-24; “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches, but let him who glories glory in this… that I AM the Lord…”
So why is God misunderstood today? Here are some misconceptions people have about God.
- He is old fashioned. Go to church, pray your prayers, marry only virgin women/men, don’t smoke and don’t drink. This is a misconception. That God is full of old fashioned rules. Yes, there is merit to these statements, but we must help people realize it’s not that God is old fashioned. He desires that we have a good life, a successful life. Sometimes that means doing something that is out of the norm.
God doesn’t care what I do. I recently watched a video where Ravi Zacharias asked people if they knew the 10 Commandments. Most did not. In-fact when he mentioned them, people understood that they were common laws in America. You did these things, there were consequences. They were shocked that God had the same laws, and that the laws America adopted were straight from the Bible. His next question – So does God care what we do…? Most said yes once they understood.
God is mean. This is a common misconception within the American Church. Why is there so much hurt and pain in the world? A good and loving God would never allow such travesties. The reality if nothing bad happened, they would say God is good – but God is good even if nothing good happens. We don’t define who God is, he already defined who he is by saying that he is good Psalm 136:1.
I can get to heaven by being a good person. I’ve often heard this by people I’ve worked with in the secular marketplace. God’s okay with me. I heard recently someone who wanted an epithet that read, God look kindly on him, he did the best he could. What sad is, there is no good deed that can be done to earn God’s approval. as Scripture says, “Not one person has God’s approval. Romans 3:10 (God’s Word.) The good news, Jesus gave us the opportunity to repent – to draw near the heart of God. This is what gains his approval. It’s nothing that we do, it’s salvation by grace through asking in faith. Jesus came so that we can have life and life to the full. That is how we get into heaven.
If we want to see victory in our lives and we want to be rid of self-centeredness… we must put off our shame and come to God. He desires for us to come to him and for us to be with Him on His alter of life. When we acknowledge that we cannot fix our problems ourselves, that we need God… He will rescue us. He is the God of the breakthrough.