Following God is not a Game

I like games: board games, video games, outside games, indoor games, you name it 🙂 But I play games, they are not my life. They do not dictate my life, they do not help me make choices. They are there when I need a break or want to do an activity with someone. I think everyone would agree games are there to be played, but then you walk away and go back to living life.

I think people treat their walk with God the same way. They pull out their Bible once in a while, attend church every couple weeks, and pray when something bad happens. God’s Word is a list of things that—if you feel inclined—you can follow. But if they gets in the way of your happiness or what you want to do right now, then you can toss them out.

My friends, following God is not a game. You are all in or you are all out. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t slip up, that you never sin again. When we walk, there are moments we trip and stumble. But we don’t stay on the ground. We don’t turn around. We get back up and take more steps, each step drawing us closer to Christ-likeness.

There is a reason Jesus repeatedly told His followers to take up their cross and follow Him. To not look back. To be hot, not lukewarm. Following God is hard. It means denying yourself, even dying to yourself. It means putting His words above everything else in your life. It means actually doing what He says, not just when it suits you.

There have been times in my own life that I haven’t wanted to go on. The grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. Why should I suffer if I don’t have to? Other Christians are doing their own thing and still following God. Why can’t I?

Here’s the thing. Are they really following God? When a person runs a marathon, they don’t go off in their own direction, they go the way of the race or else they aren’t really in the race. Same way with following God. He is going one direction. Are you going the same way? Or your own way?

Following God is not a game, it is a life commitment. How about you? Are you tempted to just follow God when it’s easy? How do you overcome that and keep on going?

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Following God is not a Game”

  1. I think we’ve got to be careful not to overlook a couple of things Jesus said –

    “My yoke is easy,and my burden is light”

    “I have come that you may have joy, and that your joy may be full.”

    It’s true that a lifetime commitment is needed, but when that commitment becomes a grindingly serious slog through a minefield of temptation and damnation, we may have missed His point.

    I sometimes think of Jesus as the corpsman attached to a rifle platoon – you really need Him when the shooting starts, but when nothing’s happening, He’s one of the guys. Not to be taken for granted or ignored, but to be treated with respect, kindness, and humor.

    We’ll always need Jesus when we’re hurting, but I think we’re expected to enjoy the life we’ve been given, and that focusing on ‘brokenness’ in the context of our fundamental need – which a lot of people do – prevents the growth that God hopes to see.

    1. Thank you, Andrew . I always appreciate your comments 🙂 Yes, Jesus also said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. That’s because when we walk with God, we have His strength. I can’t tell you how many times I try to walk by myself and it doesn’t work. Great reminder!

      1. Thank you,Morgan, for bringing up this subject. It’s brave.

        And please excuse my not being here, commenting, as often as I’d like. I’ve been a bit indisposed.

        Doc thinks I’m not going to make it. He’s going to be proved wrong, but the proving, as is common to all births and rebirths, does not come without a bit of pain.

        There, I think, may be the root of the hard part of walking with God. It hurts, sometimes.

        But as fighting back against what is said to terminal is kind of fun, so too may the sore muscles and aching lungs as we try to keep up with God’s face be a good kind of “no pain, no gain” agony.

        What do you think?

  2. Just reading your comment makes me even more thankful that you are here to comment!

    I think you hit the nail on the head: the hard part of walking with God is that it hurts. He takes us through dark valleys and along high mountaintops. But we also experience peaceful waters and green pastures as well.

    As much as I wish life was an easy, just tag-along kind of walk, I know in my heart I would not be content with that. I was made for more.

    Keep on fighting, my friend. As Paul said, there is victory in both: “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.

  3. Good post, Morgan. Following God is not easy and there are so many distractions in our culture to keep us from doing that. This post is a much-needed reminder that it is not a game.

    Marion

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