No Deals, Mr. Bond!

Grace 101

 

Deals with the Most High God.  Imagine bargaining with the Lord God Almighty!  What is the cost of the Lord’s favor these days?

In a bargaining relationship, something is expected from both sides.  If I go to the store, I expect to pay money for the products I take home.  If I go to a swap meet, I will bring something to trade.  If I make a deal with a neighbor, I might agree to do some work for him.  I will get something because I give something.

So what does God need that I have?  Does He need my time and energy?  Does He need money?  Does He need prayer or Bible study or Scripture memory?  What currency do I have that would allow me to trade with God?  It sounds silly, doesn’t it?  We can’t bargain with God.  We have nothing to offer Him.

You see, God is not about making deals.  He is about loving you and me.  He wants to give to us because we have needs we cannot fulfill and He is good and strong and kind.  When He made us, He made us to be complete only in relationship with Him.  He would enter into that relationship and give us what we need.  When we wandered, through Adam and Eve and through our own sin, He stayed ready for that relationship.

Since we could do nothing to restore the relationship on our end, the Lord has done all that is needed to bring us back to Him.  He did it all.  He is the Giver.

When we try to make deals with God we try to bind Him into a contract where we can demand that He keep His commitment to us.  I have seen television preachers pounding their fists on the floor saying, “God I demand . . . !”  But we are not on equal terms with God.  We have no right to design deals and expect that He will agree.  We have no right to demand anything from Him.  He is God!

If you are not serving the Lord because you love Him, then stop.  You are not earning spiritual points and He is under no obligation to reward your efforts.  If you think God owes you something, think again.  If you are working hard and making sacrifices because you think you are going to get something from God as a type of wage or deal, then rest.  He loves you and He gives all good things as a gift.

Now, I know that some people will say that the Bible tells of all kinds of rewards for good behavior.  I agree.  There are certain ways of looking at life that have certain benefits.  A husband who is kind and loving will very likely be blessed by a good marriage, certainly more so than an inattentive or cruel husband.  But there are no guarantees in this.  These are good things to do that usually have good results.

And nothing of this has to do with spiritual life or relationship with God.  No one is going to Heaven on the basis of their church work, for example.  Those who see themselves working through a bargain with God will be disappointed.

You see, the flesh understands human relationships.  It knows how to manipulate and bargain and work for things.  But when the flesh encounters God, it tries to do the same things and they don’t work.  Religion might be filled with “work for blessings” but God is not in that.  He wants to give.

3 Comments

Filed under Grace 101, Relationship

3 responses to “No Deals, Mr. Bond!

  1. Mary

    That’s very true 🙂

  2. Don

    I discovered this very truth, during a period when I was learning that God would not answer my prayers that were based on selfish/prideful fears. I reached a point of astonishment with him over his unwillingness to accede to his demands, and blurted out in prayer the “deal” I thought we had. (It was not a deal based on Christ’s work on the cross, and my humble/grateful response!)

    My astonishment came when I heard him speak, quite clearly in my spirit, “I never made that deal with you.” He showed me that so much of my life was based on an assumption of our relationship, which included him being – basically put – under my control as a genie or slave. I had no idea who I was really dealing with.

    It was very liberating for me to discover that despite his promises to us that he has made in-Christ, he is free to do as *he* wishes, not as I wish. His power, freedom and “untameable” nature is, in the end, exactly what I crave in a God who is loving but all-powerful and all-knowing.

    Thank you for writing so wonderfully about this truth. Did God simply reveal this to you, or did you have to Jacob-wrestle him?

    • Hi Don! Welcome! Isn’t it interesting that we listen for some long revelation but He turns our worlds upside down with just a short comment?

      My problem has been that I have never felt adequate even to make a deal with God. I didn’t see myself as being able to offer anything to Him, but I felt that I should. The result was that I didn’t expect Him to be good to me. I worked hard because that was what I was supposed to do, but I always knew it was never enough. The wonder and victory came when I realized He never wanted it to be enough. It wasn’t about what I could give Him, but what He could give me. When I finally began to understand that He loved me in spite of my inadequacies, I was free to rest in my relationship with Him. What Joy!

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