Devotional Reading–Wait! That Decision Has Negative Consequences
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! –Psalm 27:14
God is so good! In our moments of weakness, He provides and protects us from the negative consequences of decisions that we think are the best option. We can live without regrets by listening to God’s voice telling us, No or Not Now.
Surrender is not a trait we are born with, nor is surrender valued as a must-have character trait. If you are a parent or had younger siblings, you have first-hand knowledge of the developmental stage affectionately known as the terrible twos. And most remember going through the teenage stages of a raging rebellion against their parent’s morals, values, and rules. But suppose the child’s behavior was modified by initiating boundaries and disciplinary measures during these two defiant stages. In that case, they will develop into adults that not only accept and respect the answer of no, but also possess the character trait of self-control.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Despite our diverse backgrounds, a change of heart happens when we commit ourselves to God. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, and a new life has begun! As steadfast believers in Christ, we cease the natural inclinations to follow our selfish desires or maintain a spirit of disobedience. Nor do we develop little schemes to go outside God’s will to attempt to manipulate His answer of no.
When God created humanity, He gave us everything we needed to serve Him: Free will of choice, biblical instructions, prayer, a seed of faith, a sound mind, self-control, and the desire to stay connected to Him. But then we discovered that we could use our free will to chase after our desires. Yes, we still believe in God, but we have developed a spirit of independence–the same condition that Cain possessed. We place our disobedient desires over God’s requirement for our sacrificial offering–total obedience.
There are two types of Believers, those who almost always obey God and those who make it a habit to disobey and frequently misuse repentance and forgiveness.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? –Luke 6:46
For the usually obedient group, God disciplines by shaking us. In His mercy, God may shield us from the extreme consequences of our disobedience. Recognizing that we went against the will of God, we readily repent and pray for forgiveness. We know repentance means never repeating the transgression against God for doing it our way. Because we love God with all of our hearts, after the shaking, we thank God for His mercy in not letting us suffer the full consequences of our disobedience.
“…but the way of transgressors is hard.” –Proverbs 13:15
The second group also loves God, but they suffer inner turmoil because they have developed a pattern of disobeying God. They live by the false prosperity message–name it and claim it. Their greatest pursuit in life is to be happy. Yes, all appears to be well–they are reaping a harvest of blessings. And they readily share with others, “God has abundantly blessed me.” Sadly, that is their critical mistake of bringing God’s name into their acts of disobedience.
God will protect His name and reputation!
Then the unthinkable happens, God allows the impact of their disobedience to come to fruition, and the life-changing consequences happen. All because they half-heartedly served God by continuous disobedience. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” –James 4:17
“The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving wrongdoing, and rebellion. But He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.” (Numbers 14:18)
Satan is using the same old tactic that he used with Eve, “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die'” (Genesis 3:4). He uses false teachers to tell us that we do not understand the true meaning of what God said, and they give their reinterpretation of the Scriptures. Many believers have been deceived by accepting the false belief of Middle Ground Christianity. There is no middle ground! We cannot fulfill our desires and remain in the right standing with God. Either we completely obey God or we are living outside of His will by walking on the path of disobedience.
“If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15).
In the evening, reflect on your day. How many blessings have you received? The big blessings are probably very obvious. Even so, remember to include the little things that worked out in your favor. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
We have a loving God who sustains our lives. The breath in our bodies is from God. Seeking God’s will is the foundation for serving Him. Obedience is such a small sacrifice compared to the incredible love and undeserved grace and mercies we receive. With all that we are given by our Heavenly Father, God is justified in His requirement for us to faithfully trust and obey Him. We must use our sound minds and self-control to stay within the will of God.
“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, Amplified Bible)
Stop living the hard-knock life full of problems and consequences that belong to the lives of unbelievers!
We can never protect or provide for ourselves as God does. Do we thank God for His protection from the dangers of spiritual warfare [seen and unseen] that the angels, God’s messengers, defend us from every day? God’s protection also extends to shielding us from the terrible consequences of our wayward decisions.
When God says, “No, my child,” trust and believe that He knows the future consequences that would devastate our lives. Today, begin to let praises of thanksgiving and gratitude openly flow from your mouth. Surrender and commit your free will to always trust and obey God. We are truly blessed beyond measure!
Bible Reading: Psalm 34
Prayer: God, we want to say thank you for all that you have lovingly and freely blessed us with day after day. We love You and surrender our will to You. Let Your will be done in our lives. In Jesus’ Worthy Name, we pray. Amen.