I Dream of Jeannie Faith

You probably remember the cute sitcom of the 1960s. The plot of the series involved a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut (Larry Hagman) finding a bottle on a beach after a return from space. The genie (Babara Eden) is involved in the day-to-day life of the astronaut. Every once in awhile she will go back in the bottle for various reasons. But, only seldom does her master put the lid on the bottle while she is inside.

You will also likely recall the many jokes involving genie’s being freed from sealed bottles or lamps and upon being freed offer to give the finder three wishes. These are genies who have spent long periods of time incarcerated in their sealed vessels. The premise is that you must choose those three wishes very carefully because once they are gone they are gone forever.

Christians often have their prayers hindered because they treat God as they would a genie in a bottle. It’s as if God is pulled off the shelf and the cork is opened so he can intervene. Once the crisis has passed, its time to put God back in the bottle.

Financial stress is a great example. The Bible says in Romans 13:8 that we are not to owe anyone. Yet, Christians will buy homes using mortgages, head down to the car lot to take them up on the latest promotion and use credit cards for daily needs. All these things seem so acceptable because they are so much a part of our culture. However, if God’s word is true all three of those methods of financing purchases are wrong. So, we take the genie bottle off the shelf when our car is being repossessed and beg God to intervene. We don’t pray it this way, but it is as if we are saying, “God, even though I didn’t have enough faith for you to provide a vehicle, please help me keep the truck that I bought in rebellion to your word.”

I dream of Jeannie faith is often used in relationships. The Bible tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Yet, people will go into business with a nonbeliever or begin dating someone who is not a Christian. Then when things turn bad, they take the genie’s bottle off of the shelf and beg God to fix that which was likely doomed to be problematic from the start. An apt comparison is if you go into the kitchen and mix the recipe for an apple pie and when you pull it out of the oven you are disappointed because the result is not a pan full of brownies. A business or personal relationship with a person who is not a disciple of Jesus Christ will usually have problems. Following God’s word from the start will lead to joy and contentment.

As we begin this new year, its important that we examine our lives in light of scripture. Psalms 112 is a great description of how our lives should look. In this passage, it promises much to the person that ‘finds delight in His commands’. The nine verses that follow could be considered as the resume of the believer. Verse 8 tells us that the believer who delights in His commands will have secure hearts and experience no fear. Verse 5 tells us that the believer who delights in Him will be a lender and certainly not a borrower.

If you find financial chaos in your life or if you find emotional turmoil because of your choice of relationships, set your heart to correct these things in your life in 2012. Begin paying extra on your mortgages and car loans. Set the goal of getting out of debt and pursue your goal doggedly. Acknowledge and understand those debts violate scripture. Begin working to sever those relationships with unbelievers or begin to evangelize them with great energy. Acknowledge and understand that yoking up with non-believers whether in business or romantically is a violation of scripture.

God is not a genie in a bottle. He wants you to live a life based upon the principles of God’s word. He is certainly with you and wants us to ‘cast our cares upon the Lord’ as we are instructed in I Peter 5:7. But, He would certainly prefer us to live our lives according the pattern in scripture and not approach Him as if He is on the shelf in a genie’s bottle waiting to be released upon a situation. God wants you to walk with Him and His church in daily fellowship. Abandon I Dream of Jeannie faith in 2012 and embrace a life of joy that can only be found in God’s will for your life.

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