Since the beginning of time, every age has faced unprecedented battles. Today’s Western world lives and breathes a gospel of now. Instant gratification is the way of our culture; it is the norm, the expectation. This gospel has deeply infiltrated authentic Christianity, and the desire to have it our way and to have it now is toxic to becoming restored as a man.
When we turn to the gospel, the story of God and his kingdom, we find a very different reality. Doesn’t God seem profoundly comfortable avoiding shortcuts? We find Jacob required to labor seven years for the hand of his bride, only to be deceived by Laban and his own immaturity into a trap requiring him to labor an additional seven years (Genesis 29–30).
How about Joseph? Thrown into a well, sold into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned. And when he finally saw a path out of the dungeon—if only fellow prisoners who were being released would remember him when they were free—we read these heart-wrenching words: “Two years passed” (Genesis 41:1 MSG).
How about in the book of Daniel, where we see a man prayerfully pleading for an intervention in his battle against evil? The text says that Michael, the great warrior of the heavens, was sent as an answer to Daniel’s prayer but was delayed in a three-week battle against the prince of Persia (Daniel 10).
And we can’t fail to mention Abram and Sarai, who were unable to have children. At the ripe age of seventy-five, Abram was told he’d be the father of many nations. Still, it wasn’t until he was one hundred years old that the promise was fulfilled through the birth of his son Isaac (Genesis 15–17).
Jesus said it plainly: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do” (Matthew 7:13–14 MSG).
God, help me see where I’m looking for a shortcut.
And that’s the memo.
An excerpt from Morgan Snyder’s Book Becoming a King