Is God your Father…or Your Drug?
* Friends let you down
* The boss at work just doesn’t understand you
* Your (insert relevant family member here) is driving you crazy
* You make a bad decision that comes back to haunt you
* Dreams that you thought would succeed crash and burn leaving a trail of tears.
In those moments people often turn to a number of life’s little vices to numb the pain and provide a little “pick-me-up”.
* a comfortable couch with a TV remote
* a credit card powered shopping binge
* a bottle of wine or other “adult” beverage.
It seems that we humans are in a never ending quest to fill something we feel is missing in our lives; something that takes away the pain.
For some though the pain can be so great that drugs become the pathway to happiness.
God as a drug!
What happens though when God becomes the drug? When church becomes the “meth house” for obtaining a “high”? Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin once called religion the “opiate of the masses”. Christians may dismiss this statement as the vitriolic ravings of a violent revolutionary…but is there a kernel of truth lodged in there somewhere?
I tend to think so…
When Saul, the King of Israel, continually rejected God’s ways for his own, God let Saul know he was removing the Kingdom from him and would give it to another. The Bible goes on to say,
At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.
Saul’s advisers said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. O Master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.
Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.
One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him…
…After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.
1 Samuel 16: 14-17, 23
Saul was depressed. Through his selfishness he managed to lose the anointing and presence of God operating in his life. This put him in a foul mood. The Young’s Literal Translation says that the spirit that came over Saul was “sadness”.
So he was depressed and sad.
Hey I understand. I think we’ve all been there and we tend to look for anything that will dull the pain.
Because Saul’s pain came from his broken relationship with the Spirit of God, he sought solace in the music of David whose spirit radiated love for God.
How many of us as Christians do this?
When we feel “distant” from God or have done what we feel is a “big sin” what do we look to do?
* click on a worship CD,
* find the next church service that has an alter call
* commit to reading a chapter of the Bible everyday.
* pray without sleeping…I mean ceasing
Anything that will take away the feeling of a (perceived) distance from the Spirit of God…
…that will take away the pain.
The problem though was Saul never allowed the Spirit to change him and conform him into the image of God. The Spirit was simply a vice for taking away the pain. The music would dull the sadness for a while but sooner or later David had to be summoned again so Saul could get his “fix” of God.
David we will learn later will sin big…arguably in ways much “bigger” than Saul. The difference though is that for Saul, God’s Spirit was a narcotic to be used for the benefit of Saul. David, in contrast, was a son who was constantly seeking to do his Father’s will. It’s never about the degree of sin, it’s always about the attitude of the heart.
When we fail to allow the Spirit of God to transform us into the image of Christ, God becomes just a drug used to give us a “high”.
How many of us go to church meetings, revival meetings, Bible studies, home group meetings, prayer meetings, Men’s Groups, Ladies Groups, Youth Groups, and yes, even “Leader’s Meetings”, to feel good for a couple hours only to leave the same person that went in.
So the question becomes: Is God your Father…or your “fix”?
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