God Is Not a Vending Machine

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“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46

Vending machines are for food and drinks. Most of the time we don’t even notice them, do we? Unless we’re wanting something. An iced cold drink. A delicious treat. A snack. Even a meal. Chips. Cookies. Candy. Juice. Whatever. We expect instant satisfaction. It’s very simple. We put our money in the machine. Mash on a big bright  button for whatever it is we want. Wait. Just seconds. Boom. Exactly what we desire, what we paid for, falls down to the bottom where we can slide in our hand, pick up our yummy or thirst-quenching whatever, and off we go. Unless there’s a problem. Like the machine won’t take our dollar bills. Or won’t give us our change. Or, worst of all, it won’t deliver. You know, we can’t get what we paid for. Okay, maybe that’s not the worst of the worst. Because of course there’s the time when you pay, you can’t get what you want, and you don’t get your change back. Sometimes we just walk away. Other times, we bang on the machine. For some of us, when anger gets the best of us, we kick the machine. We are being honest with ourselves, aren’t we? Bottom line, the vending machine is for us. To give us food and drink. To make us full, to quench our thirst. To satisfy us. To deliver the goods. To help us enjoy ourselves. And sometimes even to give us something we can give to someone else. Then off we go. Back to life. Okay, maybe we’re thankful for the vending machine. Even to it, though it’s only a machine after all. But bottom line, we quickly forget about it as we march back into our lives – until the next time we want or need something.

Tragically, I used to view and treat God this way. Tragically, I meet people constantly who do the exact same thing. We say we believe in God, call Jesus Lord, figure we’ll end up in heaven because we believe in God, pray to God like we’re putting money in a vending machine, maybe remember to thank Him, get annoyed and angry and bang on and kick the machine when we don’t get what we want, walk off to either enjoy our delicious blessings or stomp off in disgust, and march back into our lives pretty much forgetting about the vending machine until we need or want something. Sure, maybe we go to church and own a Bible.

But we appallingly go about our lives treating God like’s He’s a vending machine. God woke me up and showed me a relationship with God now and forever in heaven is for those who repent and truly live their lives for Christ. Now that I know the unfathomable everlasting love, beauty, of knowing and following the Lord, of being in His intimate fellowship and living each and every breath for Him according to His ways, I wouldn’t return to my vending machine days for anything in this world.

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