God as Fortune Cookie
I personally love Asian food (or at least the Americanized version of it)–Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and everything in between. My taste buds appreciate it all!
At the end of the meal at so many of these places, you get a fortune cookie. I know these weird little confections are not of Asian origin, but I have grown to like them nonetheless.
Some Christians refuse to look at or read them, but I do. I also understand that I’m not charting a course for my life based on what a vague saying on a slip of paper in my dessert says. What normally happens is when it says something I like then I’ll mentally agree. If it’s something that doesn’t make me instantly happy, I throw it on the table and reject it. Either way actually, I forget it in a matter of moments.
Sad to say, some of those same Christians who would refuse to read a fortune cookie would treat Him like I just described. In fact, we all have the capacity to do it.
We look to God when it suits us or when someone brings Him to us. We take the verse or promise we like and anything that doesn’t fit with our ideas, “personality,” or preferences we discard. What’s worse, so many of us forget all of it within a few minutes.
I’m guilty of wanting the easy way, the easy word, the easy blessing. I don’t want to walk in the wilderness, fast, give more than is comfortable, serve like He would… If we aren’t careful, we’ll end up simply searching the scriptures for something that just makes us feel a little better instead of pressing in to know His heart.
Isaiah 55 is a beautiful invitation, but we can miss the other side of His call if our hearts are hard.
“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance. –Isaiah 55:1-2
Jump down a couple of verses…
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. –Isaiah 55:6-7
We don’t want to hear that God may not be available when we decide it’s convenient. We like our “way” and many of our unrighteous thoughts. Why do we have to give up all of it anyway? He invites us into a place of abundance in His presence, but He wants our hearts and for us to know His heart. We do give up something to know Him, but last time I checked, giving up something that is worth nothing to gain everything is very good deal.
I’m never going to have a relationship with a fortune cookie or a horoscope or any other stupid means of trying to make myself feel better. God and His word have never aimed at being any of that. He reveals Himself to the hungry and He will even give the hunger. He pardons the one who comes and returns to Him. His word expresses His nature, character, and beauty.
Once we experience that Truth–it’s hard to walk away and even harder to forget.
What do you think? Ever treated God like a fortune cookie?