Last Friday my wife and I were sitting in the LAX airport waiting to get on a flight back from our California vacation. We had purchased standby tickets for the flight, which saved us a good amount of money. The only issue with standby tickets is that you always run the risk of not getting on a flight depending on how full that particular flight is. Our flight was a red-eye flight and so we had bought the tickets weeks prior thinking that there should be plenty of seats available because no one really likes flying through the night. However, we underestimated the amount of people who were on spring beak and were taking this flight.
As we sat waiting to be called up to get our tickets, I felt anxiety that we may not get on the flight. This would have lead to a long night of getting back through the craziness of LAX, trying to find a hotel room at midnight, and getting on a flight hopefully the next day. In other words, this option wouldn’t be ideal. We were praying that the Lord would help us to get on the flight. Finally, the ticketing agent called Mindee up and we got our tickets confirming that we would be on the plane headed home. This was a moment of rejoicing! After a long day of not knowing, we were excited to be able to head home. I thanked God for His provision and we boarded the plane.
Once we got on the plane I noticed that the luggage space above my seat was full and I would have to move back a couple rows to find space for my carry on. Dissatisfied, I found an open space a few rows back and put my luggage there. I then found my seat, which at first I thought was great and then minutes later I began to feel a little claustrophobic and uncomfortable. It also didn’t help that the person behind me kept pushing on my seat. I started to grumble to myself about it. After we took off, I started to get really thirsty. Frustrated, I thought to myself, “Where is the beverage cart?” It was at this moment that I realized how discontent I was being. I had gone from not knowing if I would be on the flight to all this feeling of entitlement in just an hour. I was just saved from not having to go through everything I would have had to go through had we not been allowed on the flight to grumbling and wondering about when I would get my ginger-ale. I felt the Spirit convict me and I repented immediately. I had so quickly forgotten how joyful I felt just to be on the flight.
I think this relates to many of us as Christians. Maybe you have been a Christian for many years or maybe you are newer to the faith. Either way, we need to guard ourselves against feelings of entitlement and boredom. After walking with Jesus for awhile, I have seen some Christians start to feel entitled as if God should be doing more for them. They look for other avenues of how God can serve them and bless them. When their prayers are not answered the way they want, they grumble. Maybe this is you right now.
I have also witnessed Christians become bored with Jesus as if he is just another thing in their busy lives. The gospel becomes less and less glorious to them as time goes on. Some of you may be feeling that way right now. It’s in these times that we need to remind ourselves, or have others help to remind us, of the beauty that is the good news of Jesus. We need to be reminded of back when we first believed in this glorious truth and held it so dear and precious to ourselves. We need to be reminded of how thankful we were just to hear this good news. Think back to when that was for you? I’m sure you were rejoicing, because when the Holy Spirit illuminates the glory of the death and resurrection of Jesus for you, there is no other response.
I pray that we would not feel entitled as if God owes us something more. Family, we already obtain infinitely more than we ever deserved from God. I pray that we would not get bored with the gospel. Would we not sigh and say “I know this already” when we hear it preached or taught. Rather, I pray we would revel in the fact that God chose us to be His children and that we are saved from our sin.
Brothers and sisters, entitlement and boredom can be a deadly foe to our spiritual growth. Would we not fall into these. Rather by God’s help, would we be like a guy who rejoices in the simple fact that he doesn’t have to be left where he is, but gets to be included on the flight that’s headed home.
“Do you really believe in the ‘God of the Old Testament’? I mean, he seems so ticked off all the time! All that vengeance, and wrath, and anger. All those times where he orders the extermination of whole cities, and sometimes wipes them out himself (see Sodom and Gomorrah).
Watch as the young Beck men proclaim their love for Jesus as they obey his command to be baptized.
All My Hope
One of the things I LOVE about being a pastor at Calvary is some of the amazing people I get to serve with every day. A couple of those are our worship pastor, Matt Faulkner, and one of his worship leaders, Christy Freeman.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
I think one of the challenges to reading through The Whole Story of the Bible is to keep reminding ourselves that the people involved were very real people dealing with really crucial and often difficult circumstances. For example, we have now arrived at a sobering word from Yahweh through the prophet Micah.
We’ve made our way through The Whole Story to one of the most famous stories in all of the Bible, and maybe all of literature. The story of the prophet Jonah.