Casper, the Friendly Ghost (A Prophetic Word)

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Matt 10:38-39 NLT

Many believers have adopted an entitlement mentality: we wrongly think that God owes us something. We believe that God is obligated to give us a life free from disappointment, struggle, emotional hardship, and chronic physical pain. We will not admit it, but we feel that God ought to bless us with the good life, a life where all our middle-class dreams come true. Especially if we pray, tithe, and attend church regularly, God should make sure all our hopes and desires happen exactly as we have planned.

If our life plans and expectations don’t materialize according to our timetable, we feel that we have been wronged by God. We demand an explanation, and that explanation better come right now and be a good one. If an explanation does not arrive (and it never does), we grow angrier and angrier with God. We feel that we have been wronged, terribly wronged by God.

We see ourselves as victims of God’s unfaithfulness. We stagnate spiritually, we fail to trust his promises, we are easily swayed by the world. We stop growing spiritually and refuse to trust God with the simplest of matters. We wallow in our self-pity.

What is the answer? Repentance is the answer. The problem is not God, the problem is our selfish hearts. We expect God, others, and the church to cater to our every need. We expect an easy life instead of the disciple’s call to be a Jesus-follower through the pain and disappointments of life (Matt. 10:37-39). Christ bids us to “come and die” to ourselves, the world, and all our expectations (John 12:24). We must stop whining, complaining, and pitying ourselves (Phil. 2:14). We must take up Christ’s cross and follow him wherever he desires to lead (Rev. 14:4).

We should stop pretending that the Holy Spirit is Casper, the friendly ghost, who is here to meet all our needs, wants, and desires. We must fall on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to overwhelm us by purging us with his purifying fire. We need the Holy Spirit to cleanse our hearts, check our motives, and mature us on the path of self-denial and suffering (Rom. 5:1-5; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-13).

The church for too long has followed Casper, the friendly ghost, instead of seeking the fire of the Holy Ghost. We have turned limp at the thought of our own cross; we faint when we think of suffering, sacrifice or self-denial. Beloved, it is time to embrace the fire of God’s Presence. It is the fire that purifies our sacrifice.

Francis Frangipane, “Francis Frangipane Quotes” 

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