The other day I caught part of a talk show on TV. The well-known host caught my attention with generous references to God, even quoting the Bible. But the host made generous references to other spiritual beings too. I was also bothered because I realized that this person was living with someone although they were not married. So many people want to make reference to God and even quote His Word, but they don't want to live for Him. They want their own lives and want to do things their own way. They like their lifestyles, but they also like acknowledging God. They like sounding as if they really follow Him. Some of us are guilty of using God.
There's no other way of putting it. We're abusing Him. We like to invoke His name because we think that we'll have His presence. It's like a little rabbit's foot; as if He'll give us "God good luck" with what we're doing or what we want to do. The purpose of God's existence is not to make us feel good.
Psalm 50:16-17 has some sobering and direct words to say about this matter. God is basically saying, "What are you doing quoting My words? Why are you using My statutes? You're being disingenuous. You don't really mean what you're saying." There are three applicable observations from these verses.
First, some of us want His blessing but without repentance. We want God to sanction our lives. We want the sanction but we don't want to turn to Him, away from a lifestyle that's displeasing.
Second, obedience is the prerequisite to sharing God's Word. We want to share His Word and tell others because we have a heart of obedience. We're moving toward Him. It doesn't mean that everything we do is always squeaky clean and perfect, but it does mean that we are turning from sin and have a desire to obey Him, which means that we speak with a degree of integrity.
The third observation I want to make is that authenticity and integrity demonstrate the reality of a relationship with God. It's genuine. It's real. It's not just empty words.
God will not be abused. To talk about Him without following Him is at best insincere. He loves us and He wants us to give Him our hearts-before we open our mouths.