Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prosperity, Worship, Grace

And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil, that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws [i.e. that they might worship him!]. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 105:44-45
God gives His people prosperity in order that they might worship Him (Psalm 105:44-45). That's grace. We do not worship God in order to receive prosperity. That's works.

Prosperity is a means to the end of worship. And the way God keeps prosperity from becoming our end (which we're all inclined to make it into!) is that He sometimes takes it away (Psalm 105:16-19,25).

If we live our lives with worship as a means to the end of prosperity, then when God takes our prosperity away (affliction of any kind), we'll be tempted to think that there's something wrong with God and the quality of His wisdom and love. And we'll forget about grace. If this is how you typically respond to God in times of affliction (big or small), then there's a good chance that for you worship is a means to the end of prosperity even though almost no self-professing believer would ever admit it.

But if we live our lives with prosperity as a means to the end of worship, then when God takes our prosperity away (affliction of any kind), we'll come to see in those moments of loss that there's nothing wrong with God. There's something wrong with us and the quality of our worship and faith. And we'll be reminded of why we're so desperate for grace.
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Psalm 105:4
Why? Because that's where grace comes from: the LORD and His presence (2 Timothy 4:22). And that's what grace is: the unmerited favor God gives me so that I can have the privilege of seeking and worshiping Him (Psalm 105:45)!
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 105:45


Mel said...

This is a fantastic post, Chris! Thanks for writing it, and for posting it! :)

pilgriminconflict said...

You're welcome, Mel. Wow! It's been a while! Great to hear from you! I hope and pray all is well...