Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Abusing God. . .

Isaiah 59:1-3
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (3) For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

You have a choice, whether to believe in God or not. Every man and woman has that freedom. If your choice is to believe in a god, then you must further decide upon which god to believe in. There are uncountable gods and you must decide which of the multitude of gods will be your god or gods.

People worship animals, or the natural world. . . they worship knowledge, scientific theory, themselves, money, power or other people. . . but if your choice is to believe in the God of the Bible. . . the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the very same God who robed Himself in flesh, came to us as a baby born in a manger, walked with us and talked with us for more than 30 years and then allowed Himself to be sacrificed upon a cross in order to defeat sin and death so that you might have everlasting life. . .If you believe in this God. . . If you believe in Jesus, then you really must follow the Bible’s instruction on Him.

The Bible is greatly concerned about consequences. In the Word of God, as like in the universe which God created, every action has consequences. From beginning to end, the Bible details consequences of actions.

It is an anathema to every principle outlined in God’s Word, to think that we can pick and choose from a cafeteria of spiritual choices. Deciding for ourselves our doctrine, to suit our desires and at the same time be pleasing to God. Numerous examples are found, of God being very particular and specific in His requirements about how things are to be done. We are very much fooling ourselves, if we think that we can have the benefit of His numerous blessings. . . His grace and mercy and forgiveness, without our having to adhere to His expectations of sacrificially loving your fellow man, living in holiness and righteousness, keeping an attitude of humility, and living our lives in submission to Him.

I implore you. . . read these words of Jesus, and heed them:

Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus is all about love, and forgiveness. . . BUT these words clearly say that He will deny knowing those who continue to do bad things. . . If He denies them, then He is denying that they are any of His. . . His sacrifice is not for them. . . These are people, who thought they knew Him. . . They thought they had a relationship with Him. With their lips they called Him Lord, but by the actions of their hands they showed that He was not their Lord. They continued to work iniquity. . . they continued to do evil things.

It is true, God is love. He loves everyone, it is not His will that any should perish, but one of His roles is as a judge, and as a judge He will one day administer justice. . . and there will be an accounting. . . The reality of that day will be many very shocked, and surprised people.

Isaiah 59:1 is a popularly quoted verse. . . .the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. . . The Lord is powerful. He can do anything. Many call out to Him in their time of need, and God answers prayers as He deems. . . but recognize that verse 1, does not stand alone. It is followed by verse 2: But your iniquities have separated you and your God. . .

Sin is a wall between man and God. It opens a breach between us. The sweet intimacy of His closeness is made inaccessible by unrepented sin in our lives. It is not merely to have Him hear, and answer my prayer, that I seek a close relationship with Him. I cannot be in the position of a hypocrite, only seeking Him when I desire something from Him. I attempt to use God, I abuse Him if that is my motivation for our relationship.

I recognize people in my life, who only call me when they want something from me. The phone will ring. We chat for a few minutes. They will inquire about my health and family, but soon I know that the point of the conversation will turn to what can I do for them. The longer it takes to get to their point, the more significant the request. If they need $5, the request may come in the first 5 minutes, but if I don’t hear what they need for 30 minutes, I know they will need $100 or transportation of more than 100 miles. The think me blind to their machinations. . .They strategize and plan on how to manipulate me to their ends. They require money, or transportation, or something new. . . and I come to resent them for their using of me, and after a time I begin to avoid them. I desire no close relationship with them. I tire of being merely an object to be used. . .

Many people look upon God in this manner also. When someone in their family is sick they turn to God. . . in the night of their despair. . . they turn to God, but when the good times come, God is far from their thoughts. I want to share all of my life with God. I want Him to share my times of joy, my hard fought victories, and. . . I depend upon Him to accompany me. . . to comfort me in my days of sorrow. I want to be able to be childlike and without guile. . . I want to be able to go immediately to Him with a request, in my time of need, without having to first put forth the pretense of desiring a relationship with Him for its own sake, but I can only do that if I spend time with Him equally in the good times and in the sorrowful, needful times. . . I can only do that if I submit to His will and obey His commandments, before making requests of Him.

Isaiah 59:1-3
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (3) For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Before blaming God for not answering your prayers. . . before losing faith in the power of God to act, look to your life, understand that God is not a fool. Pray a prayer of revelation. Ask God to show you the ways in which you fall short of His expectations. Ask Him to speak to you. . . to reveal Himself to you. . . to open your eyes to Him.

Open your heart to God. . .
Open your life to God. . .
Welcome Him to your home. . .
Submit to His will. . . submit to His desires for your life
and then as a consequence of right actions. . .
Find the peace, and joy that is only to be found in His presence. . .

I beg this of you.
I implore you. . .

I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .

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