Through the years I have often seen this scenario. People will face a crisis of one kind or another and they try to make a deal with God. They don't always say it like this, but what it amounts to is this: "God, I will serve you on the condition that you do this...". The commitment is very conditional and "self-serving" and it turns God into sort of a "Genie" in which they are in charge. God serves them and as His reward they will serve Him.
People often want a "god" that serves them and their agenda. But that is not how it works with the God of the Bible! He isn't interested in our "DEALS". He is always the "Deal Maker" on His terms! He is always in charge! He insists on being LORD simply because He is LORD! God is not a "deal maker". Instead, He demands that people BOW before Him just for Who He is with no pre-conditions attached! Faith recognizes Him as LORD because He is LORD! Faith is inherently a "Lordship Issue". Hence, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:13).
Job in God honoring faith said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15). Yes, Job at this point still had issues with God, but at the very core of His being was this commitment. Daniel's three friends were trusting God to deliver them and yet they said, "But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Dan. 3:18).
Many people immediately receive the word with JOY but then when hard times come they immediately fall away (cf. Matt. 13:20-21). This was not what they "signed up" for! Jesus in an evangelistic context told the Samaritan woman that what God is looking for is "true worshipers" (cf. Jn. 4:23-24). One day a man full of leprosy came to Jesus. He came broken and humbled! He came desiring to be cleansed but making no demands. He came bowed down in worship. He came calling on Jesus as "Lord" and said, "Lord, if you are willing You can make me clean." (Mt. 8:2) What a beautiful picture of saving faith! It looks to Jesus as Lord and Deliverer from a position of humility. Faith is humbled before the Lord!
Faith in our day is often TWISTED from a God-oriented concept to a self-serving concept. It's all about NOW, not about eternity. It's all about ME, not about HIM! People often want a god who "delivers" for them, but not a "Lord" Who rules over them. That is a "deal-breaker" from both sides. The non-repentant cannot abide Christ's Lordship. They insist on being Master of the Master! But God cannot abide anything other than true REPENTANCE that bows before His Lordship. The real "deal" is a Lordship deal and that proves to be a DEAL-BREAKER for many.
Many on judgment day will say "Lord, Lord," but alas it was only words and wasn't really true. Christ will expose these empty professors as having a self-oriented sinful agenda and they will be eternally dismissed from Christ's presence as He will declare to them "I never knew you, depart from Me" (cf. Mt. 7:21-23). They professed Christ as Lord but they NEVER REALLY KNEW HIM as LORD!
Paul gives us one of the great definitions of saving faith in Phil. 3:3 where he tells us that those who truly have the mark of being God's people are those "who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh". In listing what unifies all true believers Paul says in Eph. 4:5 that we all have "one Lord, one faith". Come what may the true believer perseveringly holds to the truth that "Jesus is Lord" which is a deep conviction wrought by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all true believers (cf. 1 Cor. 1:2, 12:3). We don't always live consistently with the truth of it, but it abides as a core conviction! It alone is the real "DEAL-MAKER" with God!
"JESUS IS LORD!"
1 Corinthians 1:2 (NKJV)
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1 Corinthians 12:3 (NKJV)
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Deal Breaker - March 20 2020