When I was younger, I would seek God only when I needed Him, usually during a crisis. I would dive deep into His church, His word and His presence, but once the crisis was past, I would go right back to living without Jesus in any material way. I used Jesus like a savings account (a “Savior Account”?) – something in place for a rainy day, but unused for months or years at a time.
Many Christians today do the exact same thing. It’s pretty evident as we see Church attendance peaking during major holidays, but dropping when people are focused on other things like vacations, kid’s sports and Sunday football games.
“But, come on! That’s life,” you might protest. “Everyone has times when life intrudes on other things!”
I understand that some people feel that they need to prioritize a life event over time with our Lord reading the Bible or attending Church, but there is a danger. What if that life event is not short-lived? What if you find yourself as a single parent and it’s really difficult to get to Church? What if getting 3 kids to Church is so much work that you aren’t getting anything out of it? What if Covid hits and you lose a year to fear?
What if that prioritized life event becomes a regular occurrence?
Jesus revealed his thoughts on this way of life a few times. Through His servant John in Revelation He rebuked the Church of Laodicea who had implemented their own “Savior Account”.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
– Revelation 3:15-17
Jesus also communicated His thoughts very succinctly during his Sermon on the Mount. He reminded us that even those that do amazing works in God’s name can miss the point entirely.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
– Matthew 7:21-23
So, what is the answer?
A.W. Tozer, a self-taught theologian, pastor, and author wrote, “Today we seek God and stop searching, whereas the early saints sought God, found Him and continued to seek more of Him.” 1
I believe this is the answer. Giving your life to Christ is not the goal. It is just the beginning. It’s your first step. Being reborn to live with Christ for eternity is the goal. Waking up each day and “seeking God” seems to me to be the process by which we will attain that Goal. King David more poetically wrote:
1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
– Psalm 63:1
As I showed above, In His infinite kindness and grace, Jesus rebukes us for our lukewarm faith, and then immediately provides the answer. During the Sermon on the Mount, He says we need to build on the rock.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
– Matthew 7:24-27
In this case, building on the rock is committing your life to Christ, reading and knowing His words and then putting them into practice.
In Revelation, he follows our thoughts on our having acquired earthly wealth and not needing Him with an analogy communicating the truth – we need His refined gold, white clothes and healing salves.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.
– Revelation 3:18-21
We don’t need earthly wealth or that magnificent house built on a beautiful sandy beach – They will do us no good during the storms of life and can’t be used for an entry ticket to heaven.
What we need to do is to close our “Savior Account” and seek God from the time that we wake up to the time that we fall asleep. This will build a house on a very firm foundation that won’t be swept away when life events or storms appear.
Here are some ways we can Build that Strong Foundation
- Give your Life to Christ
- 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
- 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
- Get in the Word
- 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. – John 15:7-8
- 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105
- Make no room for Satan
- 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
- 1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-2
- Serve Others
- 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. – Acts 20:35
1 A.W. Tozer (Edited by James L. Snyder), The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience, 2011