Have you ever scrimped and saved to purchase a special gift and as soon as the person received it they no longer paid you any attention? Or maybe you feel like there is someone who takes advantage of you…they pull you out of their pocket when they want something from you and then stuff you back in again once they get it. Maybe there is someone in your life that seems to care…not about you…but what you provide for them or do for them. If this sounds like you….you’re not alone. In fact, God often feels the same way.
In Hosea 13:6, God says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” If you remember, as Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they began complaining to Moses about all the food they had in Egypt and blamed him for bringing them out to the desert to starve to death. In that selfish moment they were willing to trade their freedom and go back to being slaves for food. However, God wanted them to learn to trust Him, depend on Him. Even after all the miracles of the plagues that God sent so that Pharaoh would let them leave, they quickly forgot all that as soon as their bellies started grumbling. The louder their bellies grumbled, the more their mouths grumbled too….and they didn’t have any Snickers candy bars! They quickly forgot God and all he had done for them.
Think for a moment how you feel when you think someone has forgotten about you. Can you imagine how much more of that God feels when we forget Him? How often do we pull God out just when we need Him to fix a mess we made or provide for an unexpected financial need or to heal someone we care about only to tuck him back away again when the crisis or need is met? Yet, we seem to be satisfied with just enough of God to keep us out of Hell. Wilbur Rees summed it up in the following poem:
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of God to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
What if we wanted enough of God to explode our soul and disturb our sleep? What if we wanted enough of God to transform us into being like Christ? How much different would our lives be? How much different would our world be? Are you satisfied with just $3 of God…enough to keep you from spending eternity in hell? Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “You will search for the Lord your God, and you will find Him when you seek Him with ALL your heart and ALL your soul.” A few chapters over in Deuteronomy 6:5, God commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Go over a few more chapters and you’ll find in Deuteronomy 10:12 that God said, “What does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord our God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul?” You can’t seek Him with all your heart and you can’t love Him with all your heart and your fear or worship Him with all your heart if you’re satisfied with just $3 worth of God.
God doesn’t want to be used like a genie in a bottle. He wants to have a relationship with us. If we look up the word ‘relationship’ in Webster’s dictionary, we’d find the definition as “the quality or state of being related, a continuing attachment or association between persons.” Jesus used an analogy in John chapter 15 to describe the relationship we should have with God. He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.” If the branch fell off the vine, it no longer receives nutrients to continue producing fruit. It is only when it is attached to the vine that it receives all it need to be fruit-ful. God wants to walk among us and be our God. He desires for us to be His people (Leviticus 26:12). As we acknowledge our sinful lives and turn to God through salvation in Christ, we are grafted into the vine and become a child of God. John wrote in 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God.” The relationship we have with the creator of the universes is a Father-child relationship.
Such a relationship is impossible to cultivate if you’re satisfied with only $3 worth of God. You can no more develop a close relationship with the creator of the universe if the only time you spend with Him is one hour a week in church on Sunday. What would it take for you to want enough of God to cause an explosion in your soul?