My Way, No Way

James MacDonald, in his booklet Faith: How it Produces Results in Your Life, exposes the error behind accepting something from a person simply because they are sincere:

Did you know that Cain [c.f. Genesis 4] is the father of all false religion? His misplaced worship has caused all kinds of problems.  When it comes to faith, many people say, “Well, I think they’re all true, just as long as you are sincere.”

Can you imagine going to a math teacher and saying, “Sorry, I didn’t get any right answers on the test, but I was sincere.”  Well, you still fail.  “But these answers are very meaningful to me.” You still fail.

Honestly, God’s truth is no different that that.  Truth by definition is intolerant, I”ll give you that.  Truth is truth.  Making up ways to God is destined to failure when we know that God appeared in time and wrote a Book, He sent His Son to die for our sins, and then to be raised to life again.  False religion is based on “my way” and “my right to make God work for me.”  Cain’s story is proof: God’s not there to make worship work for you.  You exist to worship God!  Something that happened at Harvest Bible Chapel drove this point home.

A few years ago a woman passed away, the mother of a family who was very dear to us.  She had become a believer much later in life, and even though she didn’t attend our church, we said we would do the memorial service at Harvest.  We were comforting the family and getting ready for the service when some other family members showed up.  They had a boom box and a CD ready to go, and they insisted they wanted to play the song “My Way” during the service.  I said “I’m sorry, I don’t think we’re going to be able to do that.”  They presses us, but we didn’t give in.  And I wondered later if I had made the right decision.

Then I looked up the words to the song: “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain, My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.  I’ve lived a life that’s full.  I’ve traveled each and every highway.  And more, much more than this, I did it my way.  I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway.  But more, much more than this, I did it my way.  For what is man? What has he got, if not himself, then he is not.  To say the things he truly feels, and not the words of one who kneels.  The record shows, I took the blows.  I did it my way.”

What a tragedy! That’s the song they sing on the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).  It might be the theme song of hell itself.  On the contrary, faith comes to God on His terms.  We kneel before God Almighty in worship and ask for His strength to live our lives for Him – not to do things our way (pp. 21-23).

 

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