Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
It was the celebrated C.S. Lewis who once wrote these words: “We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies—but he hopes he’ll never have to use it”.
A God for emergencies only—he’s there just in case. I am of the opinion quite a few people think that way. They see God as irrelevant in today’s modern times and say, I don’t need God in my life. It’s OK for old people in their last years who have nothing to hang onto anymore—but not for me, thank you. You may have heard that said yourself as I have. There are thousands of people who grow up in a family where God is not mentioned.
Certainly they don’t attend church—so it can be difficult to break out of that mindset as an adult—and they are distressed by unanswered questions like, Why does God allow so much evil in the world? Or they may have been hurt by the church or turned off by hypocritical Christians—and vow never to attend church again. There are many reasons.
And then there’s plenty of people who say, If you are there, I’ll turn to you in my day of emergency—just like the back-up of a parachute in case of plane’s failure. It’s a bit like this. Many of us live day-to-day doing what is necessary without thinking too much of eternal issues. We want to work things out by ourselves. As far as God goes, he is only mentioned as a swear-word or the common phrase heard everywhere now, Oh, my God’.
And I think that is a shame. The sad reality is God is often ignored until a crisis happens. Then we want him to come to our rescue. Doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. The Bible tells me God created us to have fellowship with him all the time—not just on days when everything goes wrong. It’s about a relationship with him that lasts forever—and what could be better than that?
Do you keep God at a distance?
What about you and God? Is he someone you think about only when bad things hit you and you need help? It’s like having a personal genie that you let out of the bottle to grant you a wish when there’s no solution?
Jesus said, “You shall love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, soul and mind, and with all your strength…[And] love others in the same way you love yourself” (Mark 12:30-31 – Voice). That’s no parachute God you keep locked up in a canvas bag for emergencies only. Here is an eternal God, your Father, who has all knowledge, can read your mind, knows every thought you have, and has complete power over your life.
And you want to keep him at a distance? Not much sense in that for me!
God is faithful. He loves us deeply and wants to see us happy and fulfilled in this life. He waits for us patiently while we ‘figure it all out’, amidst the days we stumble and fall, going our own way. But he is always there, ready to come to our side and encourage us. We can walk each day in his presence. He is our Father who wants a close and personal relationship with us.
Think about it. We are more than human flesh—there is an inner desire to connect with someone bigger than ourselves. God created us to have fellowship with him. It’s an incredible statement. Trying to find God in an emergency is like standing on the sand when you want to swim in the water. Faith is saying, I believe in God almighty and invite him to be a serious part of my life’
Is God a serious part of your life?
Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths’.
If you believe that statement, it means God is there for you in everything you do—the good and bad times. It is living each day with a confidence that God always knows what’s best for us, even if we cannot see it. Life does throw up difficulties, but that doesn’t mean his ways are defeated. God will never forsake us. He hears our cries of frustration and pain. He is a good Father who only has good in store for his children.
The great Apostle Paul tried to encourage the Christians at Rome with his word, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” When we realise that God is on our side, working on our behalf, we can learn how to trust him completely. Spend some time in prayer each morning before you start the day. Talk to your Heavenly Father—write down the thoughts that come and read the Bible. God has strange ways of having us go through circumstances that we don’t understand. He may rock your boat, but there’s always a reason—Christianity does not guarantee a problem-free life.
If you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, the Spirit of God comes to live inside you. He dwells in your heart and makes live a new adventure. Life is made that much more simple and just like a child we can come to God and say:
I don’t want to live like this. I want stability and purpose. I want to trust you, Lord. When I don’t know what to do, I’ll trust in you. When I don’t understand why, I’ll still trust you. I will do my part in life with your divine help.