Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Right of Refusal

Today I took my son Daniel to McDonald's. After we ordered him a happy meal and me a quarter pounder, we prayed and began to eat. I took one bite and noticed that the burger was not cooked. I am not one to bicker but this was not an edible sandwich. I took the box, burger and all up to the counter and showed the cashier. She apologized and said that this was not an acceptable product. After I went back to my seat another lady came back with a cooked quarter pounder, two free apple pies and a signed card from the manager for a free combo meal. Needless to say I was impressed by the service, even though it was only fast food.

This incident reminded me of the relationship between those who serve and those who receive service. The one rendering the service has the obligation to do what is expected by the recipient. If the service is not acceptable, there is a natural right of refusal. I don't have to go back to McDonald's if I don't want to. I don't have to eat a half-cooked quarter pounder. I have the right to chuck it in the garbage.

Today we are living in a society that only accepts this principle in certain arenas. The problem we are facing with people and their approach to religion is a strange enigma. People are deciding that God will accept them no matter what they do and no matter how they worship. They think that they can take away God's right of refusal. They may be fooling themselves and others who they are dragging along behind, but they are not fooling God and those who read and obey His word.

How many times have you had people tell you that as long as they are doing something with their hearts, God will accept it? Ironically, the same folks who claim that others are speaking for God when they stick to the Biblical guidelines for worship are themselves more than happy to speak for Him. They say, "This is who I am, accept me. If you do not accept me than you do not love me."

This is not service. Service considers the served, not the servant. But before we speak for God ourselves, let's consider this valid principle: The fact that something has been offered from the heart doesn't rob God of His natural right of refusal. God knows what He wants. His word has placed the order. If we offer our own half-cooked religion it is likely He will find a pace for it. I imagine He has a round cylinder of His own.

"If you love Me, keep My commandments." ~ John 14:15

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