Getting Just Enough of God to be Miserable

I’m reading Wayne Jacobsen’s book, In Season: Embracing the Father’s Process of Fruitfulness. Chapter One opens with these intriguing words:

My dad used to say that most people only get enough of God to be miserable. The longer I live, the more I am convinced he’s right.”

I have been thinking about these words ever since I first read them a couple of weeks ago, and I must agree with them. After all, that was my story for decades. I knew the Bible better than most people and could even quote many verses from memory, but I was not experiencing the promises held in those passages. Some of the most miserable Christians I have met are very well-schooled in what the Bible says without actually doing what the Bible says to do.

A few years ago, I spent a weekend with two of my friends who had not met each other before. One of those friends has the spiritual gift of discernment, and she made an observation about my other friend that threw me. She said she felt sorry for my friend because she thinks she might actually be better off not having a relationship with God because then she would at least have hope. Instead, this person has filled up with head knowledge of God without actually applying it in her life, and now she has lost hope because she mistakenly believes that what she now has – a head filled with Bible verses – is all there is to a relationship with God.

My first reaction was to bristle at the notion of someone being better off without God. How could someone possibly be better off without Him? A dominant theme in many churches is the importance of “saving souls.” Isn’t receiving Jesus as your Savior better than not? And yet, as I thought about it, I began to see what she meant. My friend wasn’t saying that it would be better for my other friend to go to hell when she dies: she was merely pointing out that my friend only got enough of God to be miserable and that it might be an easier journey for her if she could go back to that place without God in her life and start over.

How can someone actually be more miserable with God than without Him? That’s the focus of my blog this week.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cover of In Season: Embracing the Father’s Process of Fruitfulness. Courtesy Amazon.]