Sometime in mid January, I came to a critical point in my relationship with God where I said these words to myself and to God: “If God never blesses me or does anything else for me, I am fine with that and remain grateful for my salvation. I will continue to serve Him.” I have been attending church for as long as I can remember though I only got born again in May of 2005 and since then; service to God has always ranked high in my order of priorities. I started ministering in 2008 with tangible proofs trailing the ministry and yet, I only just came to this critical inflection point in January. Why it took me so long? I don’t know. But I can be honest about it and say I just recently attained that depth. Perhaps I just considered it thoroughly or I actually just hit that milestone but I think it is one that every Christian ought to reach on their journey. I call it the point of no return.
Again, if God never blesses me in all the ways we have come to expect as Christians, it would not change my mind about God. We do have so much we have come to expect from God that generally fall under the term ‘blessings’ or ‘promises’ such as health, wealth, increase, fulfillment, peace, joy, advancement, etc. And our expectations are justified because in reality, God has made a provision for everything we will ever need on this part of eternity as a part of the redemptive package. The Bible makes that clear; God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
However, I find that for far too long, Christians have judged God based on the manifestation of these blessings in the lives rather than the main focus of the redemptive package. It is a shame that a threat to our ‘blessings’ turns out to be a threat to our faith. Moreover, the fault lies with us and not with God for the seeming failure of the blessings which we so eloquently grumble about. Far be it from God to do wickedly. There is no unrighteousness with God and He is fully able and willing to perform all that He has promised. I believe our whopped brand of Christianity has robbed us of far more than just the crux of the matter; it has robbed us of the blessings we so desperately desire. Ironic isn’t it that the pursuit of blessings keeps the blessings away.
Forming your relationship with God based on what He can give you rather than what He has done for you will lead to trouble. It is quite easy to diagnose this affliction by performing an analysis on your prayers and your reaction to challenges. For instance, when we pray, we spend most of the time asking Him for blessings rather than thanking Him for His sacrifice or praying more kingdom centered prayers. Rarely do we spend time thanking Him for salvation or the access we enjoy and on the occasion when other things such as health, our jobs, careers, family, or something else that we consider important don’t go so well, we question God’s faithfulness. At times, we even complain against Him or protest the injustice done to us.
Now, these blessings are to be expected because they are a provision of the package, however they are not the focus of it. For the most part, we have misplaced the priority and in some cases even reversed it totally. I am clear in my mind now more than ever that the hope of eternal life, payment for my sins, a living and loving relationship with God and the peace that comes with this is the crux of my Christianity and nothing else.
How can we base our relationship with God on the fringe benefits and not the actual package? When you get a job offer in the secular setting, you have a base pay which is the foundation as well as other added benefits such as medical coverage, insurance, vacation days, pension contribution etc. In this analogy, the base pay is salvation and redemption while the fringe benefits are the other promises or blessings of the new covenant. See then that it is a whopped mentality for us to focus on the fringe benefits and not the base pay. Would you accept a job that only offered you vacation days and no salary?
That said, the single most important thing to any human being should be salvation. That must be the priority and other things should never define our Christianity. You don’t have to be a Christian to be rich or have good health; neither do you have to be a Christian to have a peaceful family or a flourishing career. You do have to be a Christian however to have a meaningful relationship with God and inherit eternal life. This is the unique identifier and must be the focal point of our existence. We must not lose sight of this as we walk the walk.
I have had this post written for a short while now but couldn’t get myself to post it prior because it scares me to say this out and even more so knowing that I actually mean it. I can say with certainty that while I appreciate and receive God’s many blessings, I appreciate more than anything else the fact that I am saved. That one thing trumps everything else for me and would always sit at the center of my walk with God. He paid a debt on my behalf that I could not pay myself. That aspect of my life remains fixed above anything else. That is why I choose to serve Him. All else may fail, but I remain in His service. I have crossed the river and burnt the bridges. I have reached the proverbial point of no return. Shalom.