It’s sometimes difficult to do what God wants us to do. And I’m not even talking on the level of personal instructions. It’s true that many of us get confused when we pray and ask God for an answer but we don’t know what he is trying to tell us. I’m not talking about that at all. I’m talking about simple, direct orders that have been clearly written in the Bible.
One of which is to trust him with our money. One of which is to love others as ourselves. Another is to love God with all our hearts, and still another is to love our enemies.
Those seem like simple orders to follow until we are put in situations that make us angry, sad, or bitter. We will fail. But we shouldn’t lose our minds when we do. God will still be with us as long as we don’t tell him to take a hike. If we do that, then he just might. But if we continue to pray and talk to God, then he will remain faithful to us.
And that’s good news. We need God to continue to work with us in our day to day lives. Sometimes it feels like God just doesn’t work fast enough for us, but don’t worry. He’ll show us the answers. He’ll continue to teach us how to live on this earth as time moves forward. We just need to continue to live with him.
What we can get sad about, however, is the fact that despite God’s forgiveness and faithfulness, we will still have to live with the consequences of our bad decisions. And sometimes those consequences can lay heavy on our lives.
It’s easy to say that God is Almighty and he can overcome anything this earth throws at us, and that is true. But, again, our bad decisions will lead to bad consequences. When we take God out of our decisions and do things that he wouldn’t do, then God will have no influence on that decision. That’s just the way it works. Then, once we find ourselves in a mess, we need to continue to pray so that God can show us how to dig ourselves out.
What’s the best way to make the best decisions in life? Well, that should be an easy one to answer. Do what God said to do. So let me rephrase it. What’s the best way to make sure we do what God wants us to do? Ready for this? The answer is fear God. And that may sound cliché, it may sound bogus or played out or even insulting, but check it out. As a child, if you knew your parents were going to take away your favorite toy for a month if you stole a cookie from the cookie jar, would you go ahead and steal the cookie anyway? Probably not! Because you fear your parents. They will live up to what they told you would happen.
God isn’t trying to make us feel inadequate or small or weak by telling us that we should fear him. He isn’t chomping at the bit to swat us like bugs, because when something bad happens, it is not God punishing us. What it is is the result of having removed God from our day to day decisions.
Jesus wants us to understand that his way is the only way that leads to something good on this earth. And that’s the truth and that will not change. So if we don’t want to have a bunch of garbage in our emotions, minds, and lives, then we better fear God when he says that his way is the only way to good things. That way, when we are grumbling about tithing, loving others, forgiving others, losing at games, etc . . . we will quickly remember what our dad said about stealing those cookies.