The Real Thing. What The World Wants Today.
While I was in Costa Rica last week I kept being reminded of a certain song. I was singing it all week long. It’s from a Coke commercial in the 1970’s. They assembled a group of people from all over the world and had them sing a song together with their signature phrase as the chorus “The Real Thing. What The World Wants Today.”
As I grown in my relationship with God, I’ve learned how to tune into God and hear from Him better. It’s one of the most important things I’ve learned how to do from Bible College. What I’ve come to realize though, is that He speaks to me in different ways then I had originally imagined. I struggled for a long time to hear from God because I was always expecting it to be an audible voice. I used to sit for long periods of time and almost try to twist His arm to get Him to speak to me….nothing. I heard Arthur Meintjes say something that really helped me. He said, “If you want to hear more from God, be sure you are rooted in His love because that is the language He speaks. If you’re not rooted in His love, you will misinterpret everything He says. I started just focusing on His love and found that I would hear from Him effortlessly. It’s like I would just be walking in the cool of the day and hear from Him. That’s how it’s supposed to be in my opinion. But again, it wasn’t like I thought it would be. I would hear Him speaking to me through music and visions mostly rather than an audible voice.Love is the language God speaks. If you're not rooted in it, you will misinterpret everything He says. ~ A.M. Click To Tweet
So anyways, I finally started to catch on that God was trying to telling me something through this song. So I started asking Him questions like; What does the world think the real thing is? Does the world even know what they want today? Here are some things I got.
As I mentioned previously I’ve been in sales for a long time. One of the most important things to learn about a product in order to be successful selling it, is how you are different. How you can separate yourself from the competition. I used to sell IT software and it seemed like everybody said we have the most robust system on the market at the best value. Here’s a shocker, even the one’s that didn’t have the best product still said that. I mean it’s not like they are going to come out and say hey man our product sucks and oh by the way we also overcharge you for it. So the person that actually has the best product can’t just come out and say hey we have the best product. They have to dig a bit deeper into how they are better and what differentiates them from the rest. Otherwise, they just seem like everybody else and the buyer can’t tell the difference for the most part. However, the responsibility doesn’t rest solely on the seller for customer satisfaction. The buyer should also do their due diligence to make sure they are getting what they are paying for. They can’t expect to buy from the first person that tells them their product is the best and just trust them. They should do their research. Same goes for your spiritual shopping experience. Most are just going with the first one they have been exposed to or the one their families traditionally bought from.
When it comes to spirituality, Christianity hasn’t done a very good job at separating themselves from the rest in my opinion. If you ask most people what they think being a Christian is about, they will say it’s about being a good person and having good morals when it’s really about a relationship with Jesus. When we make it about our works we blend in with every other religion out there that says something along the lines of do good get good do bad get bad like karma or performing sacraments to earn your right standing with God. That’s not how it works. It’s by grace alone that we have right standing. But that condemnation preaches so good doesn’t it? All across the world preachers are preaching a “straighten up/stop sinning/do more” type of message and their audiences are going “yes brother preach it”. Really? Is that what Christianity is about?
It’ no wonder many people have no interest in Christianity. We are suffering from what the business world calls supplier indifference. We blend in with what everybody else is saying so much so that people can’t even tell the difference between Christianity and Buddism or Hinduism or any of the other “ways to God” out there. When that happens people don’t see enough benefit to making a change from their status quo, which for the most part is the “nod to God” crowd who may give God a tip of the cap every once in a while but have no interest in a real relationship with Him. The world still wants the real thing…they just don’t know what it is and by and large it is not being presented to them.
It reminds me of the placebo analogy. For those not familiar, this is when a doctor will give a patient a shot of “placebo”. It doesn’t contain anything to actually make a person better but they just tell the patient it does. Surprisingly this actually works in some cases which speaks to the power of the mind but also gives a good example of what religion does. Religion doesn’t contain any power to actually make you better, it just tells you that it does so it clears people’s conscious. Then they feel better for a bit but still haven’t dealt with the real issue. It’s like putting a bandaid on a broken arm or trying to fill up on junk food. It doesn’t satisfy their hunger. But rather than concluding that maybe they haven’t found the real thing at their church or previous experience with God, they write God off and think He is not able to satisfy them. Then they go off into the world to satisfy this hunger they have with money, drugs, sex, etc. All the while not knowing that God is the only one that can satisfy this hunger they have and that they have not actually encountered the real thing. It’s like what Greg Henry says that many people who think they are rejecting God aren’t even really rejecting God…they are rejecting the perverted Gospel (the fake thing).Many ppl who think they are rejecting God aren’t really…they are rejecting the perverted Gospel. ~ G.H. Click To Tweet
I’ll bet there are many people you know who you may think are unbelievers but if presented with the real thing, actually are and/or would be believers. See, the positive side of this is that since Christianity has been so watered down, it doesn’t take much of the real thing to really open people’s eyes. This is what I remember feeling in Costa Rica. It just seemed so much easier to reach people and talk to people about God. In the States people are so busy and so in bondage to trying to impress others that the Gospel is met with a lot of resistance. They aren’t trying to hear it for the most part. It’s not to say it’s impossible to reach them. You have to develop relationships and earn trust, which I understand, but I’m just saying there are people out there who haven’t hardened their hearts so much to God. It’s like even if you do something nice for people here they automatically think you are trying to get something from them.
So I think there are many people who are rejecting something they have mistakenly thought was the real thing and many others who can’t even tell the real thing when it is presented to them because their hearts have become so hardened. But that doesn’t change the fact that the real thing is still what they want and that the real thing is Jesus. I can only speak for myself but I know sometimes I feel like it seems so hard to make a difference. You put your heart and soul into things to try to reach people but then it’s just like does anybody even care? It was good to see the difference that can be made still and to know that people do still care.
So I felt it was pretty ironic that this song was in my head. I felt like it was God speaking to me through the music, but also giving me a picture of what’s currently going on in the spiritual realm. Here we see a product being marketed as “the real thing” yet it’s really anything but. And many people believe it. Many people are hooked on it. Hmmm. Imagine that.