shortcuts are for suckers

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“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. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” (Matthew 7:13-14, MSG)

Ok, I admit it, I can be a sucker for infomercial gimmicks. I am one who hopes to find a shortcut for weight loss, meal prep, and house cleaning. I purged a closet full of videos, gadgets, and gizmos when we moved that I hoped would give me the desired results in a fraction of the time, all for the low price of $19.95. Sure, I jest some, but I share in the part of human nature that hopes there is a shortcut to make life easy.

Today’s Bible passage is the Message Version’s take on Jesus’ teaching about the IMG_0981 narrow road and gate that leads to life everlasting, while people hope that the road and gate is wide. The Message Versions emphasizes that there are no shortcuts to God, and the way to God requires total attention. Still, we must be cautious, because there are some who will try to sell all kinds of shortcuts and feel-good alternatives to spiritual significance that can be done in your spare time. That reminds me of the P.T. Barnum quote that a sucker is born every minute. Shortcuts are for suckers, and you don’t want to be a spiritual sucker, do you?

God wants all of you, not your leftovers. Is this how you approach your spiritual life? If you want more of God, you must know God wants more of you. There aren’t any shortcuts to God you can take in your spare time, but steeping your life in God’s reality, initiative, and provision is required. God wants your total attention and surrender to that part of you that thinks/wants/hopes there is trick and a shortcut (see Matthew 6:33-34). Will you give it?

Prayer: Dear Lord, I know you gave your all for me in Jesus, but I’m guilty of looking for shortcuts in giving my all for you. Forgive me for those times I look for shortcuts so I can try to keep my primary focus on me. Help me to focus my full attention on you so I can enjoy the full blessings of your reality, initiative, and provision. I ask this in the name of Jesus, your ultimate and eternal provision for salvation. Amen.