Jacob said: “I am about to be gathered to my people.” -Genesis 49:29
Jacob was about to die. He found himself in the same position every single one of us will find ourselves. Jacob was about to be gathered to his people.
And of course, so will you. The question is: Where are your people gathered?
I Have A Confession
I have a confession to make. I have this tendency–I tend to change my worldview to accommodate my own selfishness. Reflecting back I realize I had a desire for personal glory in a variety of arenas. At various times those areas in which I sought my own honor included work, running, hang gliding, and basketball–to name a few. At my core, I believed (and still do believe) the scriptures. But I couldn’t figure out a way to justify my own selfish ambitions so, I simply changed my world view. I discounted those parts of the bible that were in the way of what I wanted to do. I adjusted my thinking, philosophically, so I could engage in self gratification. As I grow older the ways in which I rationalized in this fashion become more and more apparent to me.
I’m Not Alone
Unfortunately, I’m not alone. Many of us today have embraced our culture’s notion that life is about personal gratification. Some are succumbing to a desire for, well, for themselves. And the approach is to do what I did. What we’re looking for today in our culture is a god who won’t require us to change, and who will fulfill our desires. We can’t justify the self indulgent life we want to live in light of the scriptures of the true and living God, so we simply make a philosophical adjustment. We discount the scriptures or disregard them entirely thus clearing the way to live the life of “me.” On the surface the change is rationalized with some semblance of logic and reason. But the root motivation is born from a desire to call our own shots.
The problem is, this approach comes with eternal consequences. The true and living God is Light, so the one who doesn’t want God in his life gets darkness. The true and living God is Love, so the one who doesn’t want God in his life gets hate. The true and living God is the heavenly Father, so the one who doesn’t want God in his life becomes an orphan.
How I hope and pray you recognize this device in your mind, this desire to accommodate your self-ness by rationalizing a world view apart from God and His words. How I hope and pray, when you’re gathered to your people, you find yourself in the company of your Father in heaven and His Son.
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” -Jesus Christ, Mark 8:36
[Image via: Maciek Makowski – Creative Commons]
[Related articles and resources: Slowly To Oblivion: How Christians Fall Away From The Lord, Part 1; Slowly to Oblivion: How Christians Fall Away from the Lord, Part 2; Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (Dutton Adult, 2001); Jon Courson, Application Commentary, Old Testament, Vol. 1 (Thomas Nelson, 2005)]