Day 9 ~ The Purpose Driven Life – Revisited ~ Make God smile and suffer the consequences.
“In Noah’s day, the entire world had become morally bankrupt. Everyone lived for their own pleasure, not God’s. God couldn’t find anyone on earth interested in pleasing him, so he was grieved and regretted making man. God became so disgusted with the human race that he considered wiping it out. But there was one man who made God smile. The Bible says, “Noah was a pleasure to the Lord.” (PDL – Rick ©)
When I read the above passage from Rick Warrens pen it struck me that we are not far off the truth of this today. The other night the street pastor team, I was on duty with, were sitting around a round table, after having been out doing our street pastoring, we were having a quick toast and tea. One of my colleagues mentioned that it is estimated that only some 950,000 people attend church on a Sunday or are practicing Christians in the United Kingdom.
The figures on this website indicate that the number of people registered with churches is approximately 10% for the British population. This equates to 5.5 million to 6 million people. If one works on the principle of normal statistics, i.e. the 80% 20% principle, in this case around 20% of the people who attend churches would also be those who serve the churches. It would mean that approximately 1 million people would represent active luvacta.
The figure of 950,000 converted, dedicated disciples would be about right. There are numerous people who attend churches purely for religious reasons. It is sad how many actually do not reflect the love of Christ in their day-to-day lives. The law of Christ is very simple we must love above all else our God and the multitude of neighbours that we have.
If we do not find the joy of serving God we end up doing Christianity for religious reasons. There just has to be joy.
When we are continually working at being religious, having to do the daily grind of reading the Bible and all the other trappings that go with religion, eventually the joy will fade away.
I discovered Christ at a very early age and during my mid years, to a large extent had flare-ups of joy along the way but never fully understood what it was all about. During those years I repeatedly saw miraculous prayer answered situations. And I can fully understand when Jesus says that you did miracles in my name, drove out demons in my name, but I do not know you. Somehow I think we can reach the power of God and use it because of the abundant Godly grace that exists. Despite this, we may not be having the full relationship that we could, and are entitled to, because of our own inability to truly partner with God.
As Paul Washer puts it so fervently we must seek the presence of God through insistent prayer. It is that continual prayer that brings the biggest joy and where on countless occasions it breaks us into tears. Tears of joy and remorse mixed in absolute peace that can only come from the existence of His presence.
Abiding in Christ is a continual joy. Now, reading the numerous different versions of the Bible that I have, studying his Word, and learning all about him often gets me in trouble because of the amount of time I want to spend with Christ. My greatest pleasure is to slip away and be with Him.
Insistently seek the joy of being in the presence of God. As you reach that point of doing His will this becomes true joy. Rick puts it that every time you do his will, God smiles and you will be filled with His joy.
Seek Christ -> Find joy -> God smiles -> Seek more of God’s Joy -> Find Christ -> etc……
What makes God smile?
Rick in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” – the chapter on day 9 – highlights the points which make God smile. He says;
“God smiles when we trust him completely,
God smiles when we obey him wholeheartedly,
God smiles when we praise and thank him continually,
God smiles when we use our abilities.”
This creates a self-fulfilling circle. If we cannot find the joy that there is in being Christ driven and Christ centred then we are just doing religion. We have to seek God, in finding God we will have joy, our joy will bring joy to God and glory to God and when that happens a living breathing Christendom erupts in us.
This 9th day of The Purpose Driven Life deserves a thorough read and reflection.