Friday, June 7, 2019

Pray your way to unexpected blessings?

While listening to financial advisor Dave Ramsey recently he had as a guest, Pastor Robert Morris, author of "The Blessed Life" and "Beyond Blessed". His subject was how we are blessed when we give.

Pastor Morris says, "We don't give to get, we get to give". Yes, I agree. Absolutely!

Then He says, "The reason He blesses us is 1) He loves us but 2) also because he wants us to be a blessing."  Well, okay...I agree with that too...

But then he says: "The whole of scripture is about stewardship" - and goes off the deep end.  He says (paraphrasing):

When he and his wife decided to get out of debt, "We said that we are not buying anything that's not a necessity until we're out of debt completely. So she comes to me one night and her hair dryer broke.  And she says to me 'This, is a necessity!' - making sure that I, as a man, understood."

So, he said: "I agreed with her, but we've learned to pray about every purchase. I said 'I just want to pray about it first. Do you need it before in the morning? Do you need me to go to the 24-hour store and get it? She said no.' So we pray about it and the next day happened to be Sunday. We go to church and we come home and on our porch is a package."

"We open it up and on the package there's a note that says 'I was at the store yesterday and I know this sounds crazy, but I felt like God told me to buy this for you.' It was a hair dryer! It's as weird as the Red Sea parting, the point is that when we set our hearts to it to do God's will in our finances, God said: 'I would like to encourage you.' "

What bunk!!!  My goodness...Let's see exactly how we can tell this story is complete NONSENSE:

FIRST, is the obvious:  God does NOT care if you have a hair dryer or not, any more than He cares if you drive a BMW or a Yugo or ride a bike!

God is NOT going to "bless" you with a hair dryer just because you “need” one any more than He would give Janice Joplin a color TV just because she prayed for it!  No woman during the exodus had a hair dryer for 40+ years in the desert. Not one. Not to mention the fact that if Pastor Morris had an emergency fund, as Dave Ramsey recommends, he could just go buy an $18 hair dryer! No need to involve God. It's certainly NO emergency, and therefore, it's nothing anyone should have to "pray" about!

SECOND:  Though God certainly can 'compel' someone to go by a hair dryer for someone else if he wished (Exodus 33:19), why on earth would this be his first solution? I mean, why would He compel someone else to go 'buy' a hair dryer when He could just 'create it' out of thin air and put it on your doorstep?

THIRD:  If the wife truly had a failed hair dryer, and the next day was Sunday, the day she had to "make a public appearance", she would have had her husband go to the 24-hour store!  No question about it!  I do know women!

FOURTH:  A hair dryer on one's doorstep is NOT comparable to the parting of the Red Sea!  The people of Israel set out to do God's will too; they LIVED through the parting of the Red Sea, but they ended up 40 years in the desert for disobedience before they truly learned what God wanted of them. I guarantee that if today I found a hair dryer in a box on the porch, I would NOT compare it to the parting of the Red Sea!

No, Pastor Morris, the "whole of Scripture is NOT about stewardship!"

The “whole” of scripture, (what Pastor Morris seems to have missed), is TO BE HOLY, FOR HE IS HOLY - to be eligible for eternal life in the Kingdom (Leviticus 19:2, 20:7, 20:26, 22:32, Numbers 15:40, Deuteronomy 14:2, 26:19, among other verses).  We are asked to live our lives by His rules, all the time, every day. If we do that, then we have absorbed wisdom in our lives and 'In the home of the wise are fine treasures and oil, but a fool quickly devours it' (Proverbs 21:20, CJB).  If we have been wise, then we don't need to pray for replacement hair dryers.

Well, I dare say that Pastor Morris has, indeed, lived a "blessed life"  hawking this kind of nonsense! His books apparently sell very well, for there are many who won't read the Bible for themselves to avoid being so deceived.

And that brings me to my odd conclusion: "Enter by the straight door, for wide is the door and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many are they, those that go in it. How narrow the door and straight the road that leads to life, and few are they, those that find it."  (Matthew 7:13-14, AENT).

Read the Bible, cover to cover. Seek that narrow door. Don't be misled by the latest ear-tickling teaching in expectation of God solving your next hair dryer “emergency”.

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