“I have a friend at work,” I mentioned one morning, “who told me yesterday that he is done with God.”
“Done with God?” Stan replied. “What happened?”
“I guess it had something to do with God not doing what my friend wanted Him to do,” I replied.
“Oh,” Stan said, “like unanswered prayer? He asked for something, didn’t get it, and decided to walk away from God. Is that it?”
“That’s what it seems,” I replied. “Is that very common?”
“Way too common,” Stan said. “It’s conditional belief that doesn’t really seem to be belief at all. It’s telling God that I will believe in Him if He does such and such, and when He doesn’t do it, that’s the end of any belief. And there’s an opposite situation that can also end up reflecting the same sort of conditional belief.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Getting what you want and then walking away,” Stan replied.
“Have you ever seen that?” I inquired.
“More times than I want,” he replied. “For a specific example,” he continued, “a few years ago, before we moved here, we had a neighbor who developed breast cancer. My wife and some others reached out to her, invited her to church, Bible study, prayed with and for her, asked the church to pray for her, and all sorts of things like that.”
Continuing, he added, “The woman started to attend church regularly and appeared to make a genuine commitment to God. Soon after that the cancer was gone.”
“Wow!” I responded. “That’s great.”
“Except that the woman then quit going to church, quit attending Bible study, and seemed to quit everything to do with God. It was as if she got what she wanted, but wasn’t willing to give God what He wanted, which was her entire being without any conditions.”
“That sort of thing is hard for me to understand,” I replied.
“Me, too,” Stan responded, “but my lack of understanding in not to be an excuse for me to stop praying or to stop introducing people to God. The depth of their commitment, or whether there is a commitment at all, is not up to me. It’s between them and God.”
“What may seem to me,” he added, “to be an insincere commitment that doesn’t last, may well be the preliminary round of what turns out to be a lasting and ever-deepening relationship with God.”
“I am to do what I am to do,” Stan concluded, “and leave the results in God’s very capable hands. My role is to know my role, and to be obedient to it without any conditions!”
Bible verses to consider:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30.
Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you do not put conditions on your love for me. Thank you, too, that you do not want me to put any conditions on my relationship with and love for you. I confess that there are times when I want you to do exactly what I want and, like a spoiled child, try to put conditions on my relationship with you. Please forgive all of that foolishness. And please, Father, help me in following every step as you lead me into an ever-deepening personal relationship that has no conditions, just unconditional love and obedience. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What condition did God put on you to have the assurance of spending eternity in His presence when it’s time? Have you met that condition by accepting His free and gracious provision by faith? If no, why? What is standing in the way? If you have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with having unconditional belief in your faith walk on this side of eternity? Is your commitment to God without any conditions? If you sense changes may be needed in your relationship with God, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?