|photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
Okay, admittedly, I loved fries too much to tell anyone to hold them. And despite my limited recollection, I don’t ever remember shouting at the pimply teen behind the counter, or at the old guy with the back all crooked over from standing over the fries machine for too many years, or whoever it was. But I absolutely learned at an early age that I had the right to ask for what I wanted, and that I should expect to get it. McDonald’s fries or not.
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So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise then that I was a ripe candidate for false teaching when it came to the things of God. For just as at an early age I learned about ordering fries and such and stuffing them in my little face, I learned at the start of my acquaintance with the things of God in much later years that I had the right to tell God when I wanted fries, and to tell Him when to hold them. And if He dared to not give me the fries when I wanted them, or to hold them when I told Him to, my goodness. All hell might break loose.
Speaking of hell, that is essentially straight where I was headed despite my pronounced faith in God. For for all intents and purposes, as much as I might have liked to call myself a committed, genuine follower of Jesus Christ in my early years of faith in God, I was in all reality committed – and blind to boot – to an unhealthy mix of some true teaching of the Bible and a whole bunch of false teaching. I no longer had in my possession the McDonald’s game, nor did I haul off to McDonald’s at 2 in the morning with my friends as I learned to do in my college years when I had fallen into yet another drunken spectacle, but I was well versed enough in calling out my demands when it came to fries and just about anything for that matter, that I figured the false teaching I fell under must have been entirely true. How deceived I was!
After all, didn’t God create us so we could wave our magic prayer wands and hold the fries when we told Him to? And didn’t I have the perfectly good right to shout at God when He forgot to hold the fries? How appalling! I had fallen under the teaching that I could believe God for this, and that I could believe God for that. And no matter what this or that was, and no matter what kind of impact this or that might have on the world around me, it was all about me, wasn’t it?
It was all about getting what I wanted and deserved. Oh, how I thank God for the gift of repentance and for the phenomenal mercy He had waiting for me when I tossed aside my magic wand and asked Him for forgiveness for the false teaching I had fallen prey to. I wish I could say it was a one-time deal when it came to repentance for what I had so erroneously believed. But it was not. It was a bit of a long haul, as it took me some time to dig deep into studying the Bible and to come to be able to discern the true from the false when it came to the world around me including when it came to what others taught.
But alas, I moved my little rear end out from the line at the front counter of McDonald’s (okay, I had actually done that years before as I had lost my taste for fries and such) and made my way crawling up to His mercy seat. Do you know something? Though I still struggle at times with a bad attitude and the utterly wrong conviction that God should do whatever I want so I am comfortable and happy, ugh, how wrong of me to dare think this way, for the most part I have come to a deep and genuine understanding that my job is to trust the Lord in His sovereignty, to pour out my heart to Him and to pray to Him with a humble heart, and to refrain from berating Him for forgetting to hold the fries.
True trust is trust, isn’t it? And if God chooses not to hold the fries, and to allow circumstances in my life I would choose not to have, or to refuse to answer a prayer that has been heavily on my heart, then it is His right, isn’t it? Not only does He know best, but He is God. It is His prerogative to choose what He desires. And it would be wise of me to remember not to go flying up to the front counter with an attitude of entitlement expecting God to grant my every wish – fries and all. The next time you think of telling God to hold the fries, think about this. Rather than expect, and demand, that God answer our every prayer, we need to love and thank Him unconditionally, and to trust that He really does know what is best. Right down to pickles and fries.
Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.