God's Ungrateful Guest
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1 ESV)
How often do I respond to God’s grace as if I am an ungrateful guest rather than His son?
The language of the gospel offers the invitation for me to abide in Him, enjoy communion with Him, to be guided and guarded by Him, to be loved. God says I am His child.
Yet I only want to leave. I do not want a place to dwell, I only want a place to stay. In His grace He opens to me His home, yet I use it like a cheap hotel room. I have no intent to connect with Him, I just need the password to the wifi. I have no intent to commune. I am staying here because I can get a free breakfast. And then I’ll be on my way.
The gospel calls me to be a citizen of Heaven. I go through the day more like someone staying at Hampton Inn.
Hey God, when I need you, I’ll call you. I’ll make a reservation along the way - what’s the rate? It’s all on my terms, in my time - can you help me with my luggage? Whoops, I sinned. Will you forgive me. Thanks. I’ll be on my way. I have no intent to stay.
I’ll be back. And when I return, I expect the same kind of service. I’ll let you know. See you soon.
I act like an honors member entitled to points. I act nothing like a son.
This is not the language of a child to a father. Our language to Him in prayer sounds more like the things we say to a clerk at a hotel. We are His children, not His guests.
His language to us is that of a Father who opens to us His home. He does not intend for us to stop by. He intends for us to stay. The gospel is not an invitation to use a nice room, it is an invitation to dwell in the presence of God.
Christ did not suffer the crucifixion so we could check-in and check-out. He died so we could stay. If I am as close to God as I am a hotel counter clerk, I have cheapened grace.
Good morning. Thanks for the newspaper. I switched my door hanger from “do not disturb” to “housekeeping” so they can now clean up my mess. I’ll be gone all day.
God bless me today. I read my devotion, thanks for the encouragement. Forgive me of my sins - because that’s what you do. And now I will walk away from this prayer, AMEN, as if it doesn’t matter what I do all day.
Never a word to the Almighty the rest of the way. Tomorrow morning - same routine, same lack of intimacy. It is more like the interactions we see in the breakfast nook at a hotel lobby than it is like children in communion with God.
Each day should be lived like I know I am home. I have been with God. I have heard His voice. He is impacting my life. I am accountable to Him. He defends me. He provides for me. He is my father - He is not room service.
His intent is to connect with me as a father to a child. He does not consider me His guest.