Saturday, October 26, 2013

God is Not Our Divine Landlord

We are renters.

"The faucet is leaking."
"The heater isn't working."
"The electricity is out."
"The house is flooding."
Call the landord. He'll have it fixed immediately.

We only call our landlord when there are problems or a crisis with the place he owns.

When do we not call our landlord? We never call him when things are normal. I don't call him to say, "Hey, just wanted to let you know the place is in just as good of shape as yesterday. You're welcome." We also never call with problems dealing with issues other than the place he owns. I never call him to say, "Hello good sir. I'm struggling with my finances right now. Any way you can help out with that right now?"

Many of us live as if we're renters in God's massive apartment complex called Earth.

"I can't find a job."
"The kids are getting sick."
"I'm not married and this sucks."
"I lost my job."
Pray to God. He can fix it immediately.

Many of us, both Christian and not, treat God as if he's our Divine Landlord. We only call on him when there's a problem or a major crisis. We only think that he can help in certain situations. When there aren't problems or a crisis, we live as if we don't need him because, hey, we're good tenants - he doesn't bother me and I won't bother him. We live as if his sole purpose of existence is to be there when proverbial heater doesn't work or the house is flooding and as long as I pay "rent" I'm good. But when there is that problem, that crisis, then, and only then, will I call and he is obligated to come. And not only come, but fix the problem immediately. If he doesn't, then he frankly isn't a good God because he's not doing his job as our Landlord.

Thankfully, he is not our Divine Landlord, but our Sovereign Lord. Though we may live as renters in all the Creation he owns, he shares it with us freely as his gift. Our lives are not ones in which we pay our rent, but where we are in massive debt to him - we can't afford a square inch of what he offers freely. In fact, we have no place at all. So the point is never merely to call on him when we are have problems or are in a crisis. Yes, he may help us with them, but that's not what he's after. The point is that he rules over every aspect of our lives and does what he sees fit. He wants our good, not to provide the quick fix. He wants us to call on him in every situation, in every circumstance, whether it's the problems we face in our lives or the joys we experience every day. Prayer is not a telephone to the Divine Landlord, but fellowship with the Sovereign Lord. The point is that he doesn't just show up when we need him, but he's there all the time in the midst of it all.

By His Grace.

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