Malachi 2:2-3 (MSG)
2 1-3 “And now this indictment, you priests! If you refuse to obediently listen, and if you refuse to honor me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, in worship, then I’ll put you under a curse. I’ll exchange all your blessings for curses. In fact, the curses are already at work because you’re not serious about honoring me. Yes, and the curse will extend to your children. I’m going to plaster your faces with rotting garbage, garbage thrown out from your feasts. That’s what you have to look forward to!
Matthew 23:25-26 (MSG)
25-26 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.
James 5:16 (ESV)
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power.
The message from God to us is simple and complicated as only God can make it. I know why he did things like he did – we’re not automatons, we have the ability to make choices about who we’re going to be, who/what we’re going to worship. Sometimes I miss why he allows false teachers – people, religions, theories – to prosper and lead people astray. I think it comes down to homework and commitment.
I think that we’re called to do a little research, to make sure our worldview is actually sustainable under the assault of critical thinking. Atheists point to one or two things, all negative, and blame God for everything bad as a reason he isn’t. Religions point to following God’s laws as a way forward in and of itself. Neither of these can sustain the assault of critical thinking as they end up in circular arguments. It’s not a new problem either.
Not sure where I’m going with this, except to say that following God, throwing in with Christ, is a lot of work. It takes study. It takes time to see the transformation. It takes guts to undo the self centered life we’ve built and all its trappings. It takes effort and perseverance to have the eternal perspective mold your expectations of the terminal life we have here on earth. It takes time to change toward God. It takes prayer and talking with Him.
Talking to God in prayer, in confidence, in love, to draw on Him, to allow Him invest in you, to be aware of His power and presence, yields results that defy earthly expectations.