Yawning At a Pretty Good God
The American church has grown comfortable in many ways. At best, we have gone through the motions on following Jesus in the easiest, less restrictive way as possible. At worst, we have grown cold and apathetic to the God we worship.
One of the reasons the church has grown apathetic and comfortable is because the God we talk about seems simply pretty good. He is not that great. He is not praiseworthy. He doesn't leave you in awe. He is nothing really to write home about. So that's why we leave a Sunday gathering and think little about him all week long.
When you catch a glimpse of the God of the Bible, you don't leave thinking he is pretty good. You leave different. You leave undone. You leave in awe. See Isaiah speechless in Isaiah 6.
Recently, I was spending time in the book of Isaiah and I was left in awe of the Lord. I was blown away by the ways in which he loves us. I was captivated by his character. I was stunned by his mercy, lovingkindness, and care for his people.
Look at the riches I encountered during one morning in the Word:
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3
The Lord promises this for those whose minds are fixated on Him. Those who take all the weight off their worry and place all of the weight of their confidence on Jesus. For those who trust in Him, he will keep us in perfect peace. What a word for God's people today! We can have not just Sunday morning peace. Not fleeting peace. Not wishy-washy peace. We can have perfect peace when we turn our gaze away from the fleeting worries of the world and place our trust right now on the Lord.
"The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 29:19
We are discipled by this world to be prideful, to be self-centered, and to exalt ourselves above others. We hear that meekness is weakness. However, the Bible has a great promise for those who are gentle and lowly like our Lord Jesus. He says he gives "fresh joy."
We need this. I need this. And he gives it to us generously when we get low. Not stale joy. Not spoiled joy. Not clearance rack joy. Or expired joy. From the Lord, he gives us fresh, life-giving, hope-filled joy when we get low and look to Him.
"For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you." - Isaiah 30:19
When I think about calling on the Lord in times of trouble, I always feel like I am bothering Him. I tell myself, "The last thing he wants to hear is my small and insignificant heart." However, nothing is further from the truth. This is not the glorious and gracious God of the Bible. This is not the Lord who loves to look upon those who are contrite in heart (Isaiah 66:2).
The Bible says he will be gracious at the sound of your cry. Not, might be gracious. Not, there's a 50/50 chance that he might listen. No! The Bible tells us "as soon as he hears" your desperate cry, he answers you. No delay. No leave a message at the beep. He loves to hear your voice and he loves to answer you in your darkest hour. So pray right now. He is listening.
Let's turn away from the small god of our imagination. The god of the American Church that leaves us yawning. Instead, let's continue to mine the glorious truths of the Bible. There we will find a God who is not simply pretty good. We will find a God who leaves us in awe and leaves us different.