We are all familiar with vending machines. A vending machine is a mindless mechanical device that if you follow a set of directions to make a selection of the items offered for sale, you pay the appropriate price and then push a button or pull a lever and out comes your selected item. Well most of the time anyway. Sometimes it will just steal your money. Sometimes it just ignores you, no matter what you do. And, sometimes it is out-of-order.
A while back I heard that someone had slandered our ministry by saying, among other unkind things, that we teach that "God IS a vending machine". A thoughtless saying that was undoubtedly verbally handed down from one of the religious radio vigilantes who make it their job to slander other servants of God who don't fit into their theological comfort zone.
I really don't care about man's theology. And, I can honestly say that this type of persecution doesn't bother me in the least. I mean, we live in a free country and the worst thing these kind of people can do to me is to shoot their mouths off. What DOES bother me though, is the multitudes of people that are kept in the bondage of lifeless religious tradition under the guise of defending THEIR "faith."
Well, we don't teach that God is a vending machine. In fact God isn't anything like a vending machine. Jesus introduced mankind to the God the Father. Not just HIS Father, but if you have been 'born-again,' Jesus introduced you to YOUR father. In Mat 7:11, Jesus says, If YOU then, being evil [hurtful, evil, diseased, culpable, derelict, vicious, full of malice and guilt; like the devil, a sinner, bad, evil, grievous, harmful, lewd, malicious and wicked.] know how to give good gifts unto YOUR children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them [His children!] that ask him?
In Luke 11:9-12, Jesus says, And I say unto
you, Ask (your
heaven), and it, (whatever you asked for), shall be given you; seek,
ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every
one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks
it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask bread of any of YOU that is a father, will you give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will you for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will you offer him a scorpion?
Now, if you did something like that, they'd take your kids away from you and put you in jail!
But what would you think of someone that, because they found out their child was sleeping around, would deliberately infect that child with the AIDS virus? Or if their child refused to eat properly, injected live cancer cells into their body? Or just to teach their kid a lesson, pour gasoline on him and set him on fire? What would you think of such a person?
These are the very kinds of things that religious tradition teaches that God our Father does to His children! And from the above scriptures, anyone that is not blind, deaf and dumb, can see that God is a GOOD God! He doesn't use sickness, disease, poverty, addiction, deprivation and lack to teach his children a lesson! Just the opposite! He wants ALL of HIS children to be whole, complete, with nothing lacking and nothing missing: spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, … in every way whole!
Jesus is telling us that once we're adopted into the family, WE can ask ANYTHING of the Father and that that the Father will give it to us - just like He gave it to Jesus! But then he went on to explain that there were spiritual laws in effect to govern our receiving. And, that some of what the Father has for us is unconditional and that some is conditional and what those conditions are.
Is God a vending machine? You have to purchase or pay a price for items in a vending machine. There is NOTHING that you possess, that is valuable enough to purchase even ONE of the gifts of God. There is NO service you can provide or act that you can perform that is valuable enough to pay for even the least of these gifts.
For my healing from an imminently terminal disease, I would have given all that I had to repay the Father -- but I didn't have anywhere near enough. I would have done anything to repay Him, but nothing I could ever do, came near to paying the price. But there WAS a price that had to be paid! It was my ransom! I could never pay it, but Jesus did -- with his own body and his own blood!
The Father has set up certain spiritual laws for mankind as well as all the physical laws.
One of these laws is the 'law of faith.' The law of faith is as active in the spiritual realm as the law of gravity is in the physical realm! Rom. 14:23 states that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. But rather than learn how faith works and how to operate within the law of faith, there are those that would belittle it's importance by placing slanderous tags and title on it like "Name it and Claim it" and "Health and Wealth." The law of faith works for them the same as it does for me! If they are saved, then they had to put the same law of faith into operation!
Rom. 10:8-10 says, But what says it? The
word is nigh, [near
and now], thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word
faith, which we preach;
That if you will confess, [say, (claim)], with your mouth the Lord Jesus, [that Jesus is Lord], and will believe, [have faith], in your heart that God has been raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Somewhere, they had to come to hear about the promise of salvation from the written or spoken Word of God. Then they had to believe (or have faith) that if the Word said that the gift of salvation could be theirs if they asked for it, because of what Jesus did -- then they had to claim possession of it by saying it, (naming it), to receive it! I received my healing the same way -- it just took longer to manifest.
Is God a salvation vending machine?
You did something and said something to receive salvation!
Is God a redemption vending machine?
You did something and said something to receive redemption! Psa. 107:2 says, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so."
First of all, God is not a machine! He
is a generous,
Second, the Father has NOTHING to sell! He is a GIVER not a seller! You can't earn His gifts! But to receive any of them, you have to operate within the law of faith. The Father operates and abides by His written Word. He makes promises, swears by Himself to uphold them and then does!
We teach faith, based upon those promises. Promises that are upheld in the spiritual realm and then manifest in the physical realm.
The reason people, and especially religious people have difficulty grasping this, is that they are so used to operating in the flesh, and in the sensual realm. Now even these terms have had a religious twist put on them, but what I mean is that they only know how to operate according to what their 5 senses, what their experience and what other people - tell them. And your 5 senses cannot detect anything spiritual!
What this causes them to do is to picture God not as a vending machine, but as A SLOT MACHINE. Not understanding the law of faith, in ignorance they say their faithless prayer, pull the handle and then see what happens -- or more often what doesn't happen. Occasionally, depending on what they pray, say and believe, they may have a "faith accident."
I believe that we are living in the end time. And if that's true, things are going to keep getting worse until Jesus comes to get His Church! Based upon what I witnessed on 9/11 we are going to NEED to be continually operating in faith - just to SURVIVE till Jesus comes to get us.
Do I believe God is a "Vending Machine?" Absolutely not! God doesn't do what I tell Him to do. God just does what He said that He would do - giving you and I the continual confidence to operate in faith!