In part one I’ve talked about “good and evil” versus Life. I will now give examples of how we mess things up.
God is alive and what he gives us is alive as well, but usually not very manageable. What we do then is to turn “that which is alive” into “how this stuff works”.
- Example. Revival. Usually, what happens will look like the following. God will do amazing stuff. Others will hear about it and come. They will study what is happening and then try to apply the same principles that they saw. Want revival? Follow the 10 steps. Books will be written. If you follow these steps, God will follow. Look it’s written in the Bible!!
- Example. God will tell someone. “When you are in trouble, I want you to praise Me with songs.” Every time this person praises, God comes through for this person. Now this person writes a book about it. It now becomes a guideline. When you are in trouble, you must praise God. The person who buys the book does not need to know God anymore, because they now have the principle of what worked in somebody else’s life. And they will follow it and have no results, because that is not what God intended for them. He wants the relationship, but we want the results of the relationship. There is a difference.
- Example. God comes and tell you that He loves you. But it is not enough to be loved by God, is it? NO. You have to do the right stuff. Stop doing the bad stuff. Only THEN will God love you. When we do this we fall into the performance trap, because a christian is supposed to look like a christian. And this is difficult. When we fail at being holy, we fake it.
- Example. And I personally hate this one. How to be a successful Christian. When you follow these principles, God will make everything better. You will have a successful marriage and you will have beautiful children and they will have good grades and you will never get sick and you will always be cheerful and you will live in a nice house and your neighbours will be nice and you will be safe from harm and you will have a good income and you will go on a cruise every 2 years and the stock market will not crash and…… God becomes your personal stepping stone to finding happiness here on earth.
- Example. This is what happens in teaching. Look at the life of David. He did this and this and this and these were the results. In order to have these results, we have to do this and this and this. We treat the Bible like a math book. 1+1+1 = 3. If you struggle, do what Job did. Look, it worked out for him in the end!! Everybody will tell you that there is a big difference between theory and practicality, but in church there seems to be no difference.
We nail “that which is alive” down. We do not like a LIFE God who does not follow the rules. That is just plain scary. No, we need the other tree. The one that tells us what to do. The one where I can measure my performance. The one where God is small enough to fit into.