Verses 7 and 8 whirled in my mind. Elisha went to
I was struck by Ben-Hadad’s actions and apparent motivations. When he learned that a prophet of the Lord was in town, he immediately sent his lieutenant to inquire about the prognosis of his present illness. Ben-Hadad was not interested in learning more about God or learning how to live in order to please God. No, Ben-Hadad’s desire was to learn the future from God. Plain and simple, God provides information. God was nothing more than a fortune-teller at Ben-Hadad’s disposal.
As sad as this may be, I began to wonder if I (we) aren’t still tempted to fall into this or similar traps.
- God as fortune-teller… God tell me my future. Will I fall in love, with whom will I fall in love? Should I invest in this or that? Show me the way to my future. The primary concern is for God to tell us the next steps toward the future we want.
- God as fairy-godmother or Santa Claus…..Bless me God. Wave Your hand and send blessings from heaven upon me. Visit me with your bag of goodies. God, I will even give you X-amount of money/time but then you need to give me X-times more money.
- God as doctor… O, God, I have this, that and another ailment… fix me so I can live my life how I want to live it.
It is not that God doesn’t do these things. I believe God does. I pray for healing. I pray for God’s blessing. I seek direction from the Lord.
The problem I see is that we can easily succumb to a confusion of priorities. First and foremost, the Lord God is to be worshiped, adored, venerated, praised, and obeyed. God is God, I am not. Now the wonderful thing about the Lord God is that He delights in giving gifts to His children. Problems arise, however, when the seeking of God’s gifts and blessings becomes my aim and goal displacing worship, adoration, praise, and obedience as my primary purpose.
Ben-Hadad had no interest in subjecting himself to the Lord in praise and obedience. He just wanted to know….will I get better?… tell me my future, God…
The Spirit is reminding me this morning that I can fall into that trap, too, and I do whenever I forget worship, adoration, praise, and obedience are my highest callings and responses to the Lord.
O, God, today I ask for nothing, I simply want to linger in the opening and closing refrain of the prayer Jesus taught:
My Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven… for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.