Skip to main content

Oh, that's why!

Maybe we haven't really stopped to consider it, but God's decisions or actions don't always have to be popular or accepted by the masses to be 'right'. They just have to be 'on target' - consistent with his character, true to his Word, and always based on a bigger picture than we can appreciate with our finite view of life. Some of the time, God is blamed for things he didn't do - the results of our own actions and the consequences that we reap, for example. We somehow want to blame God because we are reaping something not very desirable at the moment, but if we are to be truthful here - he didn't determine the consequences - we did! This is all the more reason we need to consistently (and frequently) ask God to show us how to live and then to understand how those 'right actions' all add up to helping us live to the fullest.

You are right and you do right, God; your decisions are right on target. You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to you. My rivals nearly did me in, they persistently ignored your commandments. Your promise has been tested through and through, and I, your servant, love it dearly. I’m too young to be important, but I don’t forget what you tell me. Your righteousness is eternally right, your revelation is the only truth. Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight. The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest. Psalm 119:143 MSG

God's Word is a starting place for the discovery of right actions. Yes, the Bible contains some stories that serve as examples of some pretty 'wrong' actions, but there is benefit in realizing others have made similar mistakes to ours! It gives us assurance God values us even after we make 'big mistakes' in life. God's Word is filled with not only promises, but with warnings. The promises are often where we gravitate when we are looking for the Word to help us feel 'good' and 'loved'. The warnings are probably not as quickly referenced! We sometimes avoid the warnings because they make us a little uncomfortable - either because we have been considering some not so great course of action, or have already been pursuing it a while!

God doesn't 'make' us pursue a course of action - we choose to pursue it. While he is capable of 'making us' live right, he isn't going to go against what we are choosing to do. Yes, he will continue to present us with warnings about those choices or actions. Yes, he will continue to be faithful to his promises. Yes, he will send reminders of his love and grace. But...there comes a time for each of us where we 'choose' the path we will take. We can choose the right or the wrong - but it is never God pushing us down one or the other. It is us taking steps along with him down the right one, and us deciding to leave him at the crossroads by going it alone down the wrong one. Yet, even when going down the wrong one, he provides warnings and beckons us back with his promises.

We don't always understand 'right choices', do we? As a little girl, I learned there were ten commandments - you know the ones I mean, right? These stood as pretty 'big' commandments in the scheme of things and were to be 'kept' at all times. Take one of those commandments as an example - like the one that tells us not to steal. That seems like a pretty straight-forward one, doesn't it? The right choice is to work for what we need, but have our bellies ever been so hungry we have snatched a piece of fruit from a market? The choice to 'steal' at that moment was overridden by our hunger. So, we know our 'obedience' to that commandment may be 'conditioned' by what we are going through, right? Now, take the commandment to not covet our neighbor's wife, desire their house, field, servants, or livestock. How often does the struggle to not 'covet' or 'desire' something someone else have plague us? Sometimes pretty frequently!

The commandments weren't given to deny us things that are pleasurable. They were given to help us live within boundaries that keep us safe. If we steal, we can spend time in jail. If we desire what others have and then act upon those desires to get the same things, we may find ourselves in debt up to our gills and with no real way out from under it. The emotions behind stealing and coveting are pretty powerful and can influence our actions. We need to understand God isn't just 'restricting' us from 'good things' - he is showing us we can have 'good things', but by the means and in the ways he delights in revealing to us. The fruit we need for our bellies might be provided if we offer to trade a little of our time doing a task the storekeeper needs done (like sweeping his walkway, shoveling the snow from his path, etc.). The shelter we call our own could be a rental, maybe even shared with another, but if he directs that course, it will be 'just right' for our needs.

God is interested in showing us how to live right - but he also wants us to understand the 'why' behind each right choice. God's promises are great - but we need the balance of living within the boundaries he describes, as well. These both affect our choices - choices affect our actions - actions determine our outcomes or consequences. Understanding comes as we spend time with him and really get to know him. When we get to know God and what his true character is, we understand the choices he asks us to make in a much deeper way. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce