READ: Genesis 31-33, Psalm 11, Matthew 11, Acts 11
God is not a genie, summoned to fulfill our wishes. We so quickly fall into spiritual entitlement and forget that we “are not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown” (Gen. 32:10). Entitlement is ugly in any manifestation but especially so when we think that God owes us something. The raw reality is that we are not worthy (we do not deserve) any of His mercies or truth. He is worthy, and for His pleasure we are created. He is not created for our will or whim.
We really only have two rights. We have the right to be called the children of God and we have the right to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We can stand on those two promises from our Good Father in Heaven. But we don’t deserve blessing. We don’t deserve healing. We don’t deserve forgiveness. We don’t deserve deliverance. We don’t deserve favor or revelation or provision or any of the great mercies God lavishes on us. We certainly don’t deserve the heaven of His unmitigated presence. As soon as we think we are worthy, that we deserve His mercy and truth, something is corrupted in our spirit. When we demand God’s favors (think or act in an entitled way), we are just ugly and wicked.
John the Baptist, greatest of those born among women, stumbled on this point for he was disappointed that Jesus did not act as John thought He would (or should). A great early indicator of spiritual entitlement is when we are disappointed with God. Who are we to expect God to work according to our preferences? Every mercy and truth received should be recognized as undeserved favor rather than every disappointment considered justice withheld.
Unchecked spiritual entitlement leads us to think we are more worthy than others and ultimately to the arrogance that others do not deserve the very mercy we have received. This arrogance ultimately makes us impenitent. The sad irony of spiritual entitlement is that it leads to spiritual death and God’s judgment. How much better to be a Barnabas and rejoice at the grace of God poured out on others. How much safer to walk with the limp of Jacob and recognize we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies.