Consumer or Creator?
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Everyone is trying to sell you something. Just scroll through your instagram feed and invariably you come across an advert for an item that you suddenly are convinced you NEED! Or go to the store to buy some bread and milk and there it is - that perfect item that you suddenly realise you have to have. New technology, gadgets, foods, clothes, music… a never ending parade of stuff that we feel we need.
I cannot help but think that It is the same in the world of religion. Constant emails, adverts, quotes and flyers all telling you what God is saying and how to deal with it, embrace it, overcome it etc. While each of these are legitimate and each offer something to the consumer - it can also cause us to get into a never-ending cycle of buying into the thing that sounds the most titillating, authentic or 'what I need now'. It also leads to buyer fatigue. We have tried every new thing on the market. We have dipped out foot into every stream and nothing is working. It leads to hopelessness.
My heart breaks each time I hear the stories of those who have tried ‘everything’ and yet are still struggling with the same issues. Sometimes for decades. The levels of hopelessness and depression among God’s people are frightening. This ought not to be so!
I believe that one of the challenges lies with our mindset. In the western world, we have a consumer mindset. It is all about finding and having the thing we need that will make our life better and easier. Unfortunately, we have allowed this worldview to infiltrate our walk with God. I have a need - healing, financial breakthrough or a broken relationship that needs to be repaired. What is available to fulfil it? I check out the options and buy the one I want. Usually the one that promises the best results with the least amount of effort. Then I go at it for a month or 2 (if that), but do not see the result I want - so I throw it away as another lost cause. Another ‘pill’ that does not work. Another load of disappointment lands in my heart. Another litany of lies is released in my thinking. God does not care about me. God is not really real. God does not have the power to overcome MY situation. The end result - hearts hardened against the truth of God and His Kingdom.
By causing us to see God through a consumer mindset, the enemy has trapped us in his system. Religion is part of his system. We are not born again into religion, we are born into a living relationship with the Living God. We get trapped in religion when we constantly look to man to guide us and not to God. When we try to have relationship with God through an intermediary and not directly with him, we get sucked into religion. Do not misunderstand me. We need the body of Christ. We need people around us to teach and train us, but they should also point us towards God and place emphasis on equipping you to hear God for yourself.
God wants to walk with YOU and talk with YOU. He sent His only Son so that the way would be made open for YOU to boldly come to the the throne of grace and talk to Him. He sent His Holy Spirit who would guide us into truth and teach us His ways. The moment that you believed in Jesus and turned from your sin, you were born again. Your spirit was born from above. You have been baptised into His death, burial and resurrection, you have been filled with his Holy Spirit. Stop letting the devil steal that wonderful inheritance from you. You have access to the Father and His house. You have access to the God of the Universe. He is wanting to talk with you!
As we finish out the year - I want to challenge you. Before you read all the prophetic words for 2020 and listen to the God encounters of others - go to the Father yourself. Set aside time to spend with Him. Find a quiet place where you can quiet your soul and your mind. Set your eyes on Jesus and ask Him to show you what He wants to show you for the coming year. It might just be one word. It might be a picture. It might be a verse or a song. It does not matter. It is your conversation with your Father. It is His Word to you. He longs to talk with you and be with you. Let His Presence and His peace instil a fresh confidence in you for this year.
When God speaks to you - it creates something new in you. It might be just one word, but it will create a new pathway for you to walk in. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.(Psalm 119:105). I love the way that the Passion translation interprets this verse: Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of your word makes my pathway clear.
Once we have heard or seen a word from God - that Living Word directs us. It creates the path in front of us. We can then walk in that path with confidence and trust in the One who spoke it to us. This is the reason I encourage you to FIRST hear from Him. You want to walk in His path, not in the path that you think would be best for you.
Once you have heard His Word and you see His path, then you can turn to the writings and words of others. This is what I do - once I have heard what God is saying to me, I let Holy Spirit guide me to others who are hearing the same thing. I am looking to see who is walking on the same path or going in the same direction as I am. Then I see how I can collaborate with them in what God is saying. Sometimes I simply sow into what they are doing. Other times, I choose to attend an event or do a course with them. Still other times, God arranges for me to connect with these people. The bottom line is - you are co-labouring with God to walk in the places and with the people that He is drawing together by His spirit for a specific purpose.
God is doing many things across the earth right now and all are exciting and all will fulfil His purposes. You need to find what He is calling YOU to be a part of in this next season. To do that - you need to hear from Him for YOU. If you are convinced into something by someone, you will be convinced out of it by someone else. Take time now, this week, to hear from God and let Him set your path for 2020.