Christianity has been overpromised and oversold. I get it. In a way, it can’t be oversold because we serve a God who is beyond our imagination, so what would there be that He could not do?
He can’t lie. He can’t be selfish. He can’t do anything that is contrary to His Word that He has spoken, nor can He do anything that is against His character.
In Ephesians 3:20, it tells us that God is able to do above and beyond what we could even imagine … “according to the power that works in us.” The power of God to do things is beyond our imagination, but He chooses to do things according to what is happening inside the hearts of His people.
We have generally sold Christianity in America as “God will do anything and everything you could ever want or need.” The “will do” and the “want” are problems in that statement. He will act in a way that brings glory to His name … that establishes His character. He will treat us in a manner to grow us up so that we start resembling His character. He is not our errand boy to fetch us what we want.
Plus, His Word is a limiting factor. Once He has said that He will act according to what is going on in our hearts, He must respond according to what is going on in our hearts … period. Otherwise, He would lie and violate Himself.
If a person has unforgiveness in his heart, God cannot bless Him like the person who has a pure heart. If a person has hatred or unbelief in his heart, God must respond to that person’s heart. God has assigned great power to what is happening at the heart level. Spiritual flow originates out of the heart and God answers prayer and intervenes in lives according to the power at work within us (Eph. 3:20).
A Heart Change That Brought Blessing
In 2003, God spoke to me clearly that I had more faith in my ability to work than I had faith in His ability to work. It has been 13 years of repenting, and I still see traces of that faith in self rear its ugly head from time to time. Faith in self blocks the blessing of God in my life. God must be true to His Word and God cannot bless me the way He would want to bless me when I am walking in faith in self.
We have sold a form of Christianity that says you can do whatever you want to do and God will bless you. That message is a lie. It has created many people who are cynical toward God and Christianity, because the things they were told about God proved to be untrue.
Our consistent life outcomes are according to what is happening at the heart level … and not just my heart … but our hearts. That is another truth that has been missed. We share outcomes. What is happening in the heart of the guy next to me might at least partially land on me.
When we see God as He is, He is absolutely reliable. When we make up things about God that we want to be true, He appears to be both a fool and a failure. When we start seeing heart flows, life outcomes makes more sense. I thought I was radically serving God. God's rebuke showed me that my heart flow was more about self than about the kind of humility that makes room for God and His blessing.
For me to get a different set of outcomes, I had to see and then replace faith in self with faith in God. What is happening at the heart level in our culture? What outcomes can we forecast? What can be done to move us toward better outcomes? False promises don’t help. They are devastating to faith.
God, help us to see Who You really are and to speak truth about You.