Have you ever thought of God as a vending machine? Oh, this may not have been your conscious thought at the time, it wasn’t with me, but you believed if you behaved in a certain way the Lord would bless you with a trouble-free life or reward your service in some way. The money goes into the machine and out comes the blessing you desire or perhaps think you deserve.
That was me as a young pastor. Although I truly loved the Lord at the time, I possessed a faulty view of what it meant to walk with Him.
I expected God to bless me because of my behavior and when that did not happen I spiraled deep into despair in the midst of extreme adversity. Yes, the events in my life would have caused much distress without my faulty view of God, but my “good behavior in and blessings out” approach to walking with the Lord led to so much additional pain at the time as well as a loss of hope in my future.
As I studied the lives of several Bad guys of the Bible, I found that King Saul of ancient Israel approached God in precisely the same way. To my dismay, I discovered I was like him in many ways.
This is why I wrote Shipwrecked! There is so much insight we can gain from looking at where King Saul and other bad guys of the Bible went astray.
I also saw the danger of relying on religious behavior versus trusting God and His character. It did not end well for Saul who thought his sacrifice would deliver Israel from the Philistines rather than the God he was disobeying at the time.
This is why I wrote Shipwrecked! There is so much insight we can gain from looking at where King Saul and other bad guys of the Bible went astray. They dealt with the same emotions we feel and through their negative examples teach us the importance of not letting those feelings dictate our thoughts and actions and thereby shipwreck our lives.
For us as New Testament saints, they remind us of applying the Gospel to our everyday lives ever mindful of all the Lord has done for us in completely and forever obliterating all our many sins.
A sample from my book Shipwrecked! can be found on the "Shipwrecked!" page of my blog, now titled Our Journey Home.
Please stay tuned as several exciting upgrades are on the way for my website during the next month.