Have you every talked to your children about their future?
When I’ve talked to my kids, or even youth group members for which I was the youth minister (these are still ‘my kids”), I have been encouraging in my discussion with them. There are the obvious warnings, like staying away from drugs, keeping yourself pure for marriage, and staying away from credit cards. But in every conversation, I usually get around to saying, “it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as your relationship with God is strong and your guiding force.”
Have you ever said something like this? Has anyone ever said that to you?
The basic premise of this concept is that no matter what happens, as long as your relationship with God is intact, you will be OK.
I believe this concept wholeheartedly.
However, our culture regarding God has treated that relationship as if it is different than it truly is. We treat our relationship with God as if God cares tremendously about what job we pick, what school we go to, or whether or not we have a cold.
In trivial, temporal matters, God doesn’t care.
Before you throw me out, hear me out. I’m not saying God doesn’t care about us. God cares tremendously about each and every one of us. God wants us to care about Him and Our relationship with Him. But in this relationship, our perspective of what is important is often different than God’s perspective.
If you’re praying to God about what job you should choose or what career path you should travel, God cares more about the Kingdom and your contentment. Will you rely on and follow God in whatever career you choose? If the answer is “yes”, then it doesn’t matter to God which path you choose.
If you’re praying to God about what school to attend or what to name your child or who to marry, the question God seems to be asking instead is “will you honor Me no matter what?”
God is much more concerned with how you treat others and your involvement in the Kingdom and connection to Him forever than about some temporary thing…UNLESS…
UNLESS you are overcome with anger because of your own pride.
UNLESS you are overcome with a disgruntled spirit because you cannot find contentment in God.
UNLESS you stop loving those around you and yourself because you allow others to overshadow your relationship with God.
UNLESS you are in danger of leaving God altogether.
In these cases, God cares very much. He has sent His Spirit to live in us to help us overcome these temptations in ourselves and in our brothers and sisters around us.
If you want to know what God cares about, look at the kinds of prayers the church prayed in the Bible. Look at the answers given.
God cares about your boldness in the Holy Spirit to spread the message about His love for all people.
God cares about your love for others that drives away fear in spite of intimidating circumstances.
God cares about your salvation and theirs too.
God cares about the growth of His Kingdom of love.
Your cold? Only if it keeps you from doing His work. Your cancer? Only if it distracts you from the great promise you’ve been given in Jesus. Your job? Only if it has the potential of enticing you to leave Him.
When we begin to pray for things that God is concerned about, then we will see God use us in ways we never dreamed. Until then, we may get disgruntled when we pray for some temporal thing unrelated to the Kingdom, and God seemingly doesn’t answer. It’s all a matter of perspective. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and stop worrying about temporal things (Matthew 6) for godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6).