Insulting God with Good Things

Photo by il vano on Unsplash

There’s a film on Netflix titled Fatima. It tells of three young children who claim to have seen and spoken to the Virgin Mary in a nearby field in their village. The parents and other adults in the village grapple between inquiring of these newly called “seers” to pray for them and accusing them of making it all up. But the part of the film I want to draw attention to is when the Virgin Mary gives this message to the children to give to the villagers: “Do not insult the Lord. He is already far too insulted.”

I’ll bet you’re wondering now how many times in your life have you insulted the Lord. It’s really not a question of if you have insulted Him; we all have. It’s a reality that isn’t talked about but perhaps thought about each second of your day. How many movies have you watched that are sinful, disgraceful, and disrespectful towards the Lord? How often have you lusted (in your heart) after people you work with? Or even with random strangers you meet walking down the street? How often do you allow Satan to distract you from prayer? Have you ever played and laughed during Holy Communion? And one I am most curious about is: have you ever uttered the words, I want to live my life first before I meet God. My friends, these realities are not only insulting to the God you serve and love, but these realities also display your wanting to hang on to the earthly pleasures of this world.

I get it. There are many things and people that are good that you enjoy. Some of us are wives and husbands. Some of us are parents who are totally obsessed with our children (me, haha). Others have amazing careers and earn high salaries. Some of us want to travel and see the world before we die. And still, others value education above all things. My friends, these are not bad things to value in life. God made these good things for His children to enjoy. However, if we are not careful, we will fall in love with God’s creation more than we fall in love with God himself. Satan is practical and will use good things to distract us — -and when we become distracted by these things, they can and will become idols. When we begin to treasure these things more than God, when we begin to want to delay meeting Him because we think we’ve found something better on earth, something has gone awry in our spiritual lives.

Several years after the resurrection of Christ, Christianity spread like wildfire in most of the Roman-occupied world. Its influence on lifestyle, caring for the poor and widowed women began to take precedence over the pagan influence of the day. Naturally, Christianity became a major threat in the eyes of Rome and had to be stopped immediately. Christian martyrdom became so frequent that it was quite normal to see a fellow Christian murdered regularly. The early Christians lived a life that was fully dedicated to Christ and their lives encourage me daily to take up my cross and give my entire life to Christ. The early Christians had faith that we all should model. They cared nothing about their earthly goods: wealth, family, education, sex, etc. Their only desire was to love and live for Christ Jesus — they loved and gave to the poor and downtrodden. They defended the faith, and if that meant that Roman soldiers would kill them for standing up for the Christian way of life, so be it.

On this daily Christian walk, I believe it to be a smart thing to surround yourself around people who are not afraid to live or die for Christ. In first-world countries like America, it is quite difficult to consider giving up comfort. Even as I write this, I pray to God that comfort never prevents me from doing His will — -no matter how dangerous the task is. I even pray that I am not too comfortable, lest I cease to do God’s will. You have been brought up to make your entire life about the comfortable American Dream: a good job, a wife or husband, kids, and a nice house. This dream has been ingrained into your brain since you could talk. The first thing your parents and your teachers ask you is what you want to be when you grow up. Had you said you wanted to serve the Lord, they would have probably said…and what else? We are so materially and socially driven that life outside of the material is unspeakable. We are so consumed with our lives that we forget that our living should please the Lord, and that is all that should matter. Right now, at this moment, if your lifestyle insults the Lord in any way, I plead with you to repent from what’s keeping you from experiencing full enjoyment in the Lord. Don’t live your life questioning whether or not you will experience Heaven. I don’t mean to be harsh, but I do mean to be firm — -because I love you. We must stop living our lives like we know for certain we have so much time to get it right. Live for Jesus; do not treasure what this world has to offer you. Love the Lord as if you’re going to meet Him tomorrow.

Lastly, let me turn your attention to an anecdote about a certain monk. Anthony the Egyptian monk was in the desert saturated in prayer. During prayer, Satan seized control of the wild beasts of the area and sent them to kill Anthony. They surrounded him on every side, “and with threatening looks were ready to leap upon him. He looked at them boldly and said unto them, ‘If ye have received power over me from the Lord, draw nigh, and delay not, for I am ready for you; but if ye have made ready and come at the command of Satan, get ye back to your places and tarry not, for I am a servant of Jesus the Conqueror.’” When Anthony had spoken these words, Satan was immediately driven away by the mention of Jesus Christ.

Dear friends, I am not saying that you have to be mauled by wild animals to love the Lord, but what I am saying is that you must be willing to forget about your own life in order to follow Christ. Anthony the Egyptian is a perfect example of Satan’s struggle for a man’s soul and I want to live my life in a way that makes Satan tremble. Friends, I write these words to you because I love you. Choose today to live a life that is truly committed to Christ, a life that denounces the treasures of this world. Live a simple life so that you are not tempted into greed, idolatry, and arrogance. Do not insult Him by loving His creation more. Choose to serve the Lord with a glad heart for all of your days and let nothing separate you from the sincere pursuits of Him.

Scripture References for Further Reading

Luke 9: 60

Matthew 19: 16–22



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