The Horse and the Cart
I have observed that there are two types of Christians – the ones with the cart before the horse and the others with the horse before the cart. The objective of this post is to enable us see which we are and encourage us to put things in their right position.
Revelation 4:9-11 describes living creatures and elders in Heaven bowing and worshipping God. Why do the angels and elders worship God?
They don’t want anything from Him but just recognize His ALMIGHTINESS. Why do we as human beings tend to keep in our focus the things we need? Yet God’s word makes it clear that our focus MUST be Him – knowing Him, serving Him, loving Him – and not our needs. He has our needs before Him and delights in meeting them as a Father but that is just a side benefit of our relationship with Him.
When we make our relationship with God about our needs, we withdraw from Him and judge Him unfaithful when our needs are not met as we desire because we feel (even though we may not vocalise it) that if He’s not meeting our needs, of what use is He to us? We have turned God to Santa Claus (Father Christmas) in our minds.
Christianity is not about our needs but about God’s purposes. God created human beings for Himself. “But why did God create human beings?” we might ask ourselves. I like an answer proffered by another writer:
“When the first chapter of the Bible says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27), what is the point? The point of an image is to image. Images are erected to display the original. Point to the original. Glorify the original. God made humans in his image so that the world would be filled with reflectors of God. Images of God. Seven billion statues of God. So that nobody would miss the point of creation. Nobody (unless they were stone blind) could miss the point of humanity, namely, God. Knowing, loving, showing God.” (www.desiringgod.org).
So why were we created?
1. To know God: Paul wrote,“That I may know Him…” (Phil.3:10) and that is the yearning of every heart except that until we are saved by grace and our eyes are opened to see, we mistake that yearning – that empty void in our hearts – for a yearning for material things and for other human beings. In my quest to learn about healthy lifestyle options, I found out that sometimes, our bodies are craving water but our minds sometimes interpret that craving as a craving for food! Same thing. We crave intimate knowledge of God from birth but we don’t realise that’s what we’re craving for.
2. To love God: No matter how hard a person appears to be, love can melt such a one. Why? Because we’re made to give and respond to love. Primarily, we are made to respond to God’s love – “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) I like the way the Living Bible puts it: “So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.”
It is our love relationship with God that enables us love our fellow human beings genuinely. No other love fills our ‘love bank’ like God’s love and the person who would love and demand love from another human being in a healthy manner would be able to do so when God is their primary ‘love giver’. We are created for a love relationship with our Maker and He desires so much that we love Him with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength (see Deuteronomy ch. 11 & 30; Luke 10:27).
3. To show God: The Lord once told me that He would showcase me if I would showcase HIM.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Paul wrote, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) and this implies that our original purpose was to glorify God with all of our being, a purpose we now have grace to fulfil thanks to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
It might help if we reminded ourselves every now and again that we made of dust and one day, we’ll return to dust, taking nothing with us. Even our accomplishments and fame will stay back here and will mean nothing in Heaven except the completed assignment that we will present to God and the souls we led to Christ. So let us not waste time trying to showcase ourselves but invest all of our resources into showcasing God – His majesty, His love, His goodness, His power,…..in short, His REALITY in our everyday lives.
When we make knowing, loving and showing God our utmost priority, God makes it His priority to meet our needs because He is fully aware that living on the earth comes with certain needs. He actually knows our needs before we verbalise them. We must put the horse before the cart because the horse needs to pull the cart from the front to yield results. Putting the cart before the horse will only lead to frustration because the horse will not push the cart from behind. Likewise, if we make our needs our priority, we’ll get frustrated because our greatest need is GOD and it is He that enables that our needs are met appropriately.
“Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” (Matthew 6:33, AMP; emphasis mine)
So, do you have the horse before the cart or the cart before the horse in your life?