“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on Earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Within six months, we have witnessed an airborne pathogen wreak havoc on our world; yet, many continue to rebel against sound reasoning and continue to play the Game of Chance. Historically, there have been many players in this game; Adam and Eve, the Israelites who were delivered from enslavement, the people who watched Noah build the ark for 120 years, the sons of Eli, the priest, and King Nebuchadnezzar to name a few. The most recent tragedy occurred in North Texas to a family of 18 who gathered in their home for a birthday celebration, which resulted in 18 cases of the Coronavirus. Because of disregard for a deadly disease, their elderly grandfather is hospitalized as his weakened Immune system attempts to fight the superpowers of the COVID-19 virus.
While the numbers of Coronavirus escalate, many individuals are still focusing on pleasure-seeking activities and saving the economy. So far, many have beaten the odds, which reinforces their current mindset of “look at me, I am doing as I please, and I am not sick.” Engaging in high-risk behaviors without suffering little to no consequences provides a sense of power. The individual’s perception becomes twisted as they begin to view themselves as one that possesses god-like qualities. Taking risks is based on emotional responses and produces self-reliance, a change in one’s morals and values, and gives a false sense of security.
Living as we desire without the thoughts of devastating outcomes reinforces the sin of pride and arrogance. A proud heart is blind and never sees the possibility of suffering negative consequences. Before we can say what we would never do, remember that each Game of Chance only has one player. The Game is based on disobedience and the desires of our hearts. Misaligned habits reveal our innermost yearnings and are used to construct the Game of Chance which is built on deception.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9. Eve had the desire to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil before her encounter with Satan; the Israelites disobeyed by participating in pagan rituals while enslaved; the people watched Noah and laughed at the concept of rain, and the priest Eli overlooked his son’s diabolical habits by never administering discipline. King Nebuchadnezzar was so defiant that he built a selfie golden statue as an object of worship to demand that his subordinates defy God’s command not to worship idols.
If you are playing the Game of Chance, there is an escape route leading to complete deliverance. Hosea 4:6 reveals the basis for our disobedience. God says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Every sin that we commit brings consequences! Yes, there are times when God spares us from the full impact of our sinfulness; even so, sin separates us from God. Sin entices and numbs us until we lose all awareness of God’s commands.
It is not a struggle to sin. The fight is the daily battle to choose good over evil, and right over wrong. We require God to overcome the sinful nature that interferes with the diligent study of the Bible, to pray without ceasing, and to live faithfully always seeking God’s will for our lives. Each of us can make the decision to refuse to be a player in the lose-lose game created by Satan. We cannot accomplish this feat on our own. The Bible is the source of knowledge that replaces our wayward thoughts by encouraging us to stop thinking and doing as we please and to follow God.
Study the Book of Proverbs, which reveals every trait exposes every sinful action and warns of the consequences when we refuse to seek knowledge and pray for wisdom. Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2.
Recently, we listened to the testimony of a young man whose father taught him the illegal drug activity that he engaged in for most of his adult life. Although he made numerous attempts to change and failed, God sent a messenger who told him that change was possible if he prayed and studied the Word of God every day. He revealed that it took six times of reading the entire Bible for his spiritual transformation to happen.
We have a loving God who is waiting to give us Eternal life in a New Heaven and New Earth–Revelation 21-22. It is a simple act to confess and repent of our sins. Acceptance of Jesus Christ places us in a win-win situation. When we read God’s Word and pray for guidance, we replace former thoughts with sound knowledge. The Holy Spirit reveals the understanding of the Scriptures by opening our spiritual eyes and giving us the discernment to recognize truth over error and right versus wrong.
Time is winding down, and we are living in the last days of Earth’s history. Walk away from the Game of Chance and into God’s loving arms. He has promised to take care of us when we are determined to live by faith, obedience, and place our complete trust in Him.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27
Bible Reading: John 14
God, we thank you for your love, grace, and mercies. Please forgive us for our sins of pride and self-reliance. It is our desire to place our lives in your hands. We pray for the peace of mind that only you can provide. We ask for wisdom and spiritual discernment as we seek knowledge. Please lead us and give us strength in our journey. We ask these things in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
Stay Aware and Stay Safe by practicing Social Distancing!
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.