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A God of Convenience

A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him. After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.  –  Acts 24:24-27 NLT

If you had to rate your relationship with God, how would you rate it?  Would you say that you and God are always on one accord?  Does He play the primary role in your life and you seek Him daily, in most, if not all things? Or do you bring God out only when you need Him?  There are times when God tells me I should encourage my fellow believers.  But there are also times, when God tells me that I must speak plainly and truthfully even if it may not be received well.  This is one of those times because recently, God keeps speaking to me about the state of our relationship with Him or lack of.

So as I read these verses regarding the interaction between Paul and the Roman Governor Felix, I saw similar themes today – only amplified.  Through Paul’s testimony, Felix had the opportunity to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but instead of receiving the invitation to know Him intimately he used Paul as entertainment and a counselor whenever he was ready to talk.  And that is how many treat God today, as a convenience.  Felix brought Paul before him at whim, but never to receive the message Paul was sent to give- the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you look at your relationship with God and Christ, do you see any similarities? Has God become a convenient genie that you call on only when you need something from Him? When there is a mass killing, we turn to Him. When there is cancer in our bodies, we turn to Him. When we are in threat of losing our homes, we turn to Him.  When we can’t pay a bill, we turn to Him.  And there is nothing wrong with turning to Him during those times; He wants us to.  But God desires to have more than a relationship of convenience with us and to be more than used as a genie to grant a wish.  He desires to spend time with us, to be glorified for who He is, and to become a part of our daily lives.  Simply put, God desires you.

Be careful of becoming like Felix and regulating Christ to a position of convenience.  When you do so, you are fulfilling a momentary need without any real commitment on your part.  And faith is a commitment. For two years, Felix played with Paul, talked with Paul and in the end left Paul imprisoned.  Yet ironically, although in physical chains, it was not Paul who left this situation imprisoned and in chains.  It was Felix.