God is Not Our Personal Santa Claus

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“He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him.” The Desire of Ages p 200.3

“God’s not the great Santa Claus in the sky.” I told a friend of mine during of a Bible study recently.  God’s purpose is not to hand out candy to His followers upon request.  A god like that is really nothing more than an extension of our desires.  God would rather teach us a better way.  This is easy to know and tell, but hard to remember and live.

‘God, I know we haven’t talked in a while, but I have a big life decision coming up that I really need your direction in.’

I think the angels must cringe at our ignorance sometimes.  What I do know is that God takes our current attitude and uses it as a place to start.  When we come to him because we have a need we want Him to fill, rather than deal with that symptom, He wants to get to the root of the issue and have us pursue Him for the sake of the pursuit of God itself.

He would prefer that we seek Him daily for the plain fact that we love Him and want to know more about Him.  He would much rather work from that position of our humility and selflessness.  Once God can deal with our root selfishness, He is much more likely to answer our prayers, or teach us better prayers  that He would enjoy answering with greater blessings.

What makes me glad in all this is that God does not tire of us and our pettiness, but, if we are willing, builds us into new creatures made in His image.  That image does not include a white-trimmed red outfit, but rather a character more precious than any gift we could receive.

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