I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone who is in deliberate sin say, “I just don’t know why God is doing this to me.” They complain of a spiritual blandness in their lives. They complain that God is cold and distant. Just the other day someone shared these sentiments with me: “I’m just mad at God. Why won’t he answer my prayer? Why won’t he fix my problem? I don’t even know if God loves me.”
Such an attitude is grossly flawed at many levels. Here are two that are most apparent:
First, this sort of attitude is idolatrous. It is the manifestation of the worship of self. The sentiments above are the manifestation of a heart condition that says, “God is my genie in a bottle. He is here to serve my needs. He is my god and exists for my well being.” Unfortunately, or perhaps quite fortunately, that is simply not the gospel message. The very essence of God communicates to us that he is in control.
He is the sovereign ruler. He is the master and we are called to be his servants. We exist for the furtherance of his kingdom, his name, his glory – not the other way around. God does not exist to serve us; we exist to serve him. Isn’t that, in part, why believers were freed from sin? 1 Peter 2:16 says, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” Everyone is a slave. The question is whether we are a slave to righteousness or sin. Salvation freed us from the bondage of sin so that we would be free to serve God. All that to say, when we display such a selfish perspective as what is uttered above, it demonstrates a complete contempt for the essence of the gospel and a practical reversal of the divine order whereby God is subjected to our whims.
Second, the attitude is slanderous. It is falsely accusing God of what you yourself have done. Walking with God will occasionally lead us through the “valley of the shadow of death.” In other words, although we serve the Lord faithfully, we will occasionally experience spiritual darkness. However, the reality is that people are generally experiencing spiritual darkness because of sin in their lives: often, unconfessed and unrepentant sin. The irony, then, is that we are seeking to isolate ourselves from God, then blaming God for the isolation, consequences, turmoil, etc. We see Adam do something similar in Genesis 3:10.
After sinning against the Lord, what did Adam do? He hid. When found, he explained to God, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” The fact is, if we find God silent or we feel spiritually alone, it is generally because we have shut him out, locked the door, and have run away. The solution? Repent! How dare we question the faithfulness, the grace, the mercy, and the love of God because he has not orchestrated circumstances to attend to our every desire? We should fall on our face before God. Quit blaming God, your spouse, your friends, your pastor or your church, and take responsibility for your sin, acknowledging that God is the sovereign and we are the servants.