Pharaoh called in Moses: "Go and worship God. Leave your flocks and herds behind. But go ahead and take your children." Exodus 10:24 (TM)
Faith is not a negotiation. Our relationship with God is not like the process of coming to terms on a long-term contract.
Picture you and your agent in the bargaining room with God:
Agent: Okay, Big Guy, let’s get down to business here. By the way, I like the bright shiny thing you got going there. That whole glorious glow look – it’s fabulous. Works for you. I’m just saying. Now, as for this faith contract. We like the eternal life stuff – the heaven clause – we’d like to keep that, of course. Love, joy and peace we like as well. That’s boiler-plate. Do unto others, yada, yada, yada, that’s all fine. Now, faith is something we can live with, but come on, there’s got to be some addendums added here. No moving to Africa. No asking to give up worldly possessions. No vows of poverty or, certainly not chastity. My client won’t stand for any of that. I’ve attached a list. That’s what we don’t like in the faith department, however, faith that you’ll come through in tough times, faith that you’ll heal any disease, faith that you’ll give good return on the investment – those are fine. That reminds me, while we’re on the investment issue, we want a five percent tithe. No one gives ten percent anymore. That’s so yesterday. You don’t have that kind of bargaining power anymore. So, let’s nail this faith stuff down, Big Guy, or my client ain’t signing. And by the way, the whole "take up your cross" and "lay down your life" clause is out. Period. We won’t budge on that. And, let’s face it God. Can I just say this? You need my client on the team. You may not know it sitting up here on your glorious throne in the sky box, but people on the streets are talking. You’re out of touch. Just look at you. You’re team is losing. Your starters are old and got nothin’ left in the tank. You’ve got nobody, and I mean nobody, on the bench. Your clubhouse is a mess. It’s no secret that your teams spends more time bickering with each other than playing the other team. You’re outnumbered on the field. Islam is kicking your butt in the draft. The odds of you even making it to the post-season are slim to none. Snowballs chance in hell, if you’ll pardon the expression. Big Guy, come on, seriously, let’s be real – you need my client on the team. You’re in no position to make demands here.
I know it’s silly, but as I think about it I realize that I try to negotiate with God all the time – just like Pharaoh. Yet, like the story of the Exodus, God doesn’t negotiate terms. We are simply asked to obey. He is, after all, well, you know…God.