Vending Machine

Chris Bilauca

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

We’re all too familiar with the first world problem of vending machines: You put in your money, enter your request, and it spits out the wrong treat. Or worst, it gets stuck and nothing comes out. It makes us never want to try that machine again. On a larger scale, I sense our approach to God is not much different. As it turns out, if God were like a vending machine, that machine would take the prize as the most unreliable, untimely, unsatisfying machine, that more often than not does not respond to our requests for “treats” though we feed it what it asks for. No one likes a machine that eats coins. No one likes sacrificing without receiving what they expect in return. Behind our failure to believe God is the fear that He will not come through in a way that pleases us. We’ll put out, and we won’t get back what we were expecting. Or if we do get something, it’s neither what we expected or hoped for. What He may call good, we fear won’t be what we consider good. We know it is “good”, but in the same sense as what our parents mean when they talk about “good” music: Fine for their own taste, but boring, unenjoyable, and embarrassingly outdated, the kind of “good” music that makes you cringe when hear it. Likewise, though we believe God is sincere in His intentions for providing what’s best, He can’t understand what we really like. Alright, that’s fair. It’s your prerogative to live as you will. Allow me to ask one question: When did we get to the point of lying to God’s face? How can we say in our prayers that we believe Him, and sing our hearts out to songs with lyrics that speak of undying devotion and complete surrender and trust in Him, and yet be able to shrug off our lifestyle of consistent rejection of faith in favor of our own desires? Will God’s “tastes” differ from yours? Maybe. In fact at first, it’s certain they will. You are free to choose. But make a choice; why are you sitting on the fence? Jesus didn’t make false claims, it’s we who’ve embellished the message to make it more socially acceptable. Guess what? His message wasn’t popular in His day either. He would say things like:

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10.39 “No one can serve two masters.”
Matthew 6.24

“Why do you call Me ‘Lord’, and not do what I say?”
Luke 6.46

The problem isn’t one about the fact that His will doesn’t line up with your desires, the problem is one of you following your desires in the first place. Jesus said that to follow Him you’d have to die. So why aren’t you dead? Why are you still alive and living for your own life? Stop trying to align your own life in such a way that you can live for yourself and make God happy. Enough with this vending-machine Christianity. There is no comfortable alternative to Christianity. If you haven’t given it all, lost your life for His sake, you are living a lie.

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