Whether we like to admit or not, even the Christian tends to think in these terms in our dealings with God. We think our obedience and faith entitle us to God’s blessings. We give to God’s work in hope of enlarged returns and so we run up a tab for God’s I.O.U.s.
We take the Old Testament promises of God’s abundant blessings such as those in the book of Haggai and use them to justify expectations of great wealth and blessing in return for our efforts in giving and serving.
How are we to regard this? First of all let me say we already receive far greater blessings than we deserve. That sinful men and women should yet remain in the enjoyment of life and sustenance when we could be suffering the eternal and deserved consequences of our sin is no small blessing. The sinner who has the salvation of Christ preached to them and the offer to come and receive it freely is a blessing in itself. The Christian has spiritual as well as temporal blessing even now with the promise of eternal joy in the world to come. Yet we often think these things to small and the full enjoyment too far away.
The workers in the vineyard because they toiled in the heat of the day wanted more than the promised denarius and we always seem to want more than what we have received.
It is true that great things are promised to great faith but God is sovereign in the way He distributes His gifts. God is not a storekeeper dealing with our shopping list.
God is bountiful to all and especially to his children. He gives us far above all we can ask and think. However He not only gives generously but He also gives wisely, no more and no less than He thinks is good for us.
Erasmus said that for us to excessively desire earthly wealth was like a poor overloaded donkey seeking for more to be placed on his back.
Our service for God will be rewarded by His grace far out of proportion of any of our efforts. While it is not wrong to look forward to God’s blessing, our motivation is love for our God and Saviour and with the understanding that we are “Unprofitable servants, who only did our duty” and that all He gives and does for us is from grace alone not taking our deserts into account.
During the Second World War Germany use explosive mines to sink and cripple British shipping. We are all familiar with them from the old war films. They floated at sea and colliding with them sank the ship.
Early on in the war several ships limped into allied ports with their hull plates cracked and buckled, rivets blown out and the ship’s backs broken.
Ships had made it clear across the Atlantic only to be severely damaged when they entered the shallow water of a port. The Germans were thought to have invented an “influence mine” which detonated when a ship passed over it. The search was on to recover this sort of mine and find out how it worked and how it to deal with it.
A German mine-laying aircraft dropped a mine of this sort by parachute which instead of going into the sea, landed on a mud flat and the British de fused it and examined it to find out how it worked.
A large ferrous object passing through the Earth’s magnetic field will concentrate the field through it; the mine’s detector was designed to trigger as a ship passed over, when its magnetic field was concentrated as measured by the mine. The mechanism had an adjustable sensitivity, calibrated in milligaus.
To counter these type of mines, ships were fitted with De-gaussing coils around the hull or were de-gaussed in port to reduce the ships magnetic charge to levels below which the influence mines would not detect and detonate.
The British tried various methods to trigger the mines safely such as a ship towed and aircraft borne electromagnets but they either were dangerous to the towing vessel or swept to small an area to be effective.
A better solution was found in the “Double-L Sweep”[using electrical cables dragged behind ships that passed large pulses of current through the seawater. This induced a large magnetic field and swept the entire area between the two ships. (Cited from Wiki)
Sad to say the Christian is surrounded and in danger from the spiritual equivalent of explosive mines. Some float on the surface for everyone to see, and yet we still crash into them and will do their best to sink us. Others are not so obvious and visible but seek to exert an influence on our faith and profession. They try to damage our Christianity and break our spiritual back: robbing us of joy, peace and usefulness.
These mines take advantage of the magnetic field of sin and selfishness which still affect us. They also use our ignorance of scriptural doctrine and lack of self watch and prayer to foist wrong doctrine and Satan’s lies upon us.
Therefore we often to seek to be De-gaussed by repentance, prayer and the reading and sound preaching of the Word to avoid the peril and danger these spiritual “mines” constantly represent to us.
Our lack of Zeal!
J. Oswald Sanders in his book on “Cults and Isms” draws attention to the tireless and selfless efforts many of the religious cults use to spread their erroneous doctrines compared to the listless efforts of the orthodox Christian denominations.
They ,often with slender means print and distribute mountains of literature , wear out shoe leather and compass land and sea to spread their false doctrines and win “converts” to their unscriptural beliefs.
By comparison the Christian Church with custodianship of the true gospel, half heartedly proclaims it and its members niggardly support it.
Many are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ as first received and try to tailor it to appeal to the worldly minded religionists of today’s post Christian society.
He remarks that the zeal the heretic cult member’s show in propagating their doctrines leaves the true Churches efforts to spread the true doctrine of Christ throughout World, in the shade.
There is nothing wrong with the old gospel it is still the only message of salvation. The fault is with us and our unbelief and lack of zeal. May God deliver us!