Honest Answers Poll Finding – We’re Settling for 2nd Best with God
Some people may disagree with my analysis of our Honest Answers Poll Results – but it seems to me that the majority of God’s people are settling for second best when it comes to their relationship with Him. Why?
The telling statistic is that the majority of those surveyed read their Bibles every day (or almost) and yet at the same time the majority of those are not experiencing the full victory that they have in Jesus!
Am I being a bit harsh in drawing that conclusion do you think? Here’s my reasoning:
- Dedicated to the Word: It’s astounding that 58% of those polled read their Bible every day (or almost). That’s a huge number, compared to other polls (16% according to recent research in the UK). That makes our survey sample incredibly atypical and points to a high level of dedication and desire to serve God. Faaaantastic you may say. Sure it is, but that also means that …
- Many are Still Starving: The flip side of the Bible reading result is that 42% of Christians are not immersed in God’s Word daily. What’s the problem with that? I hear someone say. For goodness sakes, the survey says that another 18% read it 2 or 3 times a week! Let me ask you, if you saw a survey about eating habits in your neighbourhood which said that 42% of people (or 84% in the case of the UK survey) don’t eat every day, would you be concerned? I would be. And that’s what’s happening with God’s people in His Kingdom.
- We’re Lukewarm About Prayer: Here are the raw numbers – only 21% of this group of atypically committed Bible readers were enthusiastic about their prayer lives. Hang on is that fair? Another 30% said it was edifying most of the time? Okay, but that still only adds up to just on half of those surveyed. If you were to ask that Carpenter from Nazareth to respond to this poll question on His prayer life, what answer would you expect Him to give? So … shouldn’t that be our ideal too?
- Victory – the Exception Rather Than the Rule: Only 18% of those surveyed were confident that they were living their lives in victory. Okay Berni this is where I draw the line. Give me a break. Another 55% said they were mostly strong and occasionally overwhelmed. That has to be normal! Again let me come back to Jesus, when He was stressed and torn in the Garden of Gethsemane. With the incredible human and spiritual pressure He was under – more than you or I will ever experience in our lives – what was His response to it all? Not my will, but your will be done. That’s victory and with all my heart I believe that’s what He’s calling us on into.
- Bible Reading Not Leading to Victory for Most: Of all the outcomes of this poll, this is the one that disturbs me the most. Here we have a highly atypical sample with almost 60% of respondents being daily Bible readers, and yet only 21% are enthusiastic about their prayer lives, and an even lower 18% express confidence that they are consistently living in victory. Now I could understand those result, from a bunch of people who didn’t read God’s Word much. But from people who are so committed to God’s Word?! What’s going on here?
Here’s what God’s up to in our lives:
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. (Romans 8:29)
And if that’s what’s supposed to be going on, then something … something isn’t quite right.
The reason I included the “counter arguments” in some of my key findings is to demonstrate how easy it is – how natural it is – to make the excuses that cause us to live a life of “second bests” when it comes to God … a God with a track record of giving us His very Best.
It seems to me that we’re all too ready to settle for less – much, much less – than the awesome intimacy and powerful victory that God has already provided for our lives through Jesus Christ His Son.
But there is a solution! More on that next time.
In the meantime, what do you think?