In Luke 5:15, as in several other places in the New Testament, we learn about the “great multitudes” that came out to hear Jesus so they would be healed of their infirmities. Most of us then and now just want God in our lives so He can fix something for us, often something we’ve broken ourselves. Even those of us who have been saved and want a deep relationship with God too easily choose to live separated from Him.
If we want God to be nothing more than a repairman, if we speak to Him only as a 9-1-1 call, then at best we forfeit His most delightful, satisfying blessings. What we want is to get what we want from Him and then move on to live our lives without interference. Mostly, if we claim to be Christian, we have to admit, if we’re honest, that we treat God like an elderly parent who we hope to inherit lots of money from but rarely visit, and when we do, it’s only because we have to.
God allows that kind of shallow connection, but it is an exceedingly dangerous way to live. Not only do we miss out on the deepest joy and most sustaining peace, we risk all of eternity separated from God. On many occasions, Jesus warned His followers about the danger of not loving Him enough to want to know and do God’s will. His most terrifying statement is, “I never knew you; depart from Me…” Matthew 7:23.
Thank God, though, there’s hope for rebels and fools like me. When we realize that we’re standing in the mob, wanting only what God can do for us like spoiled, selfish children, we don’t have to stand with them, yelling, “Crucify Him!” Instead, in that moment, we can ask Him to forgive us and turn our hearts back toward Him. His mercies are new every morning: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23.
Amen and amen.