One of these days your faith is going to be put to the test, that warm, fuzzy feeling you have that you call faith is going to be shown for just what it is, a fairy tale about a God who is nothing but love, a God you believe would never allow such things to happen to you. Such is the god that many serve who call themselves Christians, life is to be long, health is a given, possessions are taken for granted. Almighty God is more than willing to give all of this and more to every one of His children, but not to those who expect them simply because He should, the imagined deity they serve will be shown to be a God who desires obedience more than sacrifice, (1 Sam. 15:22) and the broken and contrite heart (Psalm 34:18) knows how to be obedient.
In times of plenty we waver, when life is going as expected, whether it be for the individual or for a nation, we draw away from the Most High, we are easily persuaded by our surroundings and our emotions. The rich man was prepared to make larger barns, and died that night, the nation Israel was drawn away by the nations around it and the abundance of their needs and wants, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) This god of earthly desires that far too many are serving is not the Lord God Almighty, but an interpretation of Him, the parts that people want to serve because it makes them feel better, because they are receiving materialistic things, and they will continue on this path until times get tough, then the questions of “why” will abound. But the god they serve will not answer, he has no ears or eyes, he was a false idol, a religious icon, a made-up deity who was meant to serve them.
How easy it is to simply turn on the tap and get a drink of water, to go to the local market and choose between thousands of items, to phone friends and relatives, how easy it is to serve when life is easy. We call them blessings, but most expect them, the rain that falls on the just also falls on the unjust, (Matt. 5:45) he feeds every beast of the field, do they not call it blessings and then just go about the business of life, do we do the same, serve when life is good, question and doubt when it does not go as planned. Far too many who call Him Lord do as the heathen do, they know His name, but they do not know His heart, they love to be loved, but they show no love towards Him in their actions, they do not do as they have been commanded to do, and yet they dare to call Christ their friend. What they are sowing they will reap, (Gal. 6:7) a callous, non-chalant attitude towards Almighty God will bring not the life here after they have envisioned, an hour each Sunday morning, a dusty, unused Bible, a life lived for self, seeking only when the straits are dire will not show itself to be a follower of Christ, but a self-serving individual who wanted a magic genie. The traditions they adhere to, the religious icons they bow before, all will be shown to be false idols, their feelings of faith will be as shallow as their heart towards Christ truly is.
Feelings do not represent faith in Christ any more than sacrifices are more pleasing to Him than obedience is, the heart that serves Christ acts for Christ, warm, fuzzy feelings do not a Christian make. Hundreds of millions of people are deceiving themselves, they are in cults called religious organizations, they are in buildings with crosses they call houses of worship, they love to have their ears itched, they love to feel good about Jesus, but they love the world more, they love feeling comfortable in it. These are not saved, but they tell themselves they are, because they follow the prerequisites, because they feel saved, yet they can show no exterior works for Him beyond church attendance and the functions prescribed upon them by it. They will serve this non-existent deity as long as life goes well, they will speak the magic incantations, they will listen to the message, and then they will seek the only refuge they have ever known, the world and what it offers.
The hearts of many have waxed cold, (Matt. 24:12) Almighty God is brought to mind rarely if ever, perhaps in times of need they will ask for more, for safety, for assistance, but they will receive no answer, for even the thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 15:26)
The man who serves Christ desires above all else that the name of Jesus is lifted up, he cares not if he is used for that purpose or not, it is Christ alone that matters. He does not pray for revival in the church, he prays for it in his heart, if it spills over into the church or even the community, all the better, that is not his concern though, Christ is. No man of God uses God, he asks to be used, he serves, he never seeks to be served. The Most Holy One knows those who are His, they are the ones being transformed into the image of His Son, all others will be cast away.