Boxing with God: A Good Idea? (Pt. 1)

82834289_25db4ef0d4_z_LightCross_davekingIn your work and personal life, there will be times when you feel like thwarting a rebuke or request from God.      Your best bet, generally, is to accept the discipline or act upon the divine directive.     Please think twice before ignoring or challenging them.     Will some of the Lord’s wishes be out of your ‘comfort zone’?    Yes.     Are you the perfect Christian who NEVER needs to be chastised?    I’m not; I doubt you are either.      Full faith is different than ‘perfect faith’ (prior post).

Never chastised, never blessed.

Rebuked Children of God

Scripture tells us, in Revelation 3:19 (NIV):

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

To make it plain, don’t box with God!

  • Listen and obey, don’t fight and stray.    Too many well-meaning Christians are too reluctant to leave their Comfort Zone.    If you have faith in Him, you should be willing to leave that zone and achieve your next victory.    Are you, in the spirit of Romans 12:1, willing to be a ‘living sacrificer’?     If you are, you shouldn’t worry about the consequences of  ‘out of zone’ activities; God’s got your back!
  • You’ve got company following you.    Just like a Shepherd will, at times, throw a rock in a sheep’s path to get it to change it’s direction, so your Savior will at times need to redirect you.      He may even need to rebuke you occasionally, to throw a rock at you, to get you back on track.     Accept the discipline, learn the lesson, and get on with your life.      If he didn’t see you as a child who was a ‘chastisement candidate’, I’d be very worried – not relieved.

Trust He who Disciplines You

In the book of Proverbs (5-6,11-12 NIV) the Bible tells us:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.   My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke,  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Those who have a trust-based relationship with the Lord should be willing to make sacrifices for him.     Is He happy with folks who refuse to ‘consider their ways’?    No.     Consider your ways.     Love him because he faithfully loves you.     Be obedient to his wishes.    Like our earthly parents, who needed to discipline us as they raised us, our heavenly father needs to do the same thing.

  • Do you recall your Dad telling you ’this is going to hurt me more than it’s gonna hurt you’ before he disciplined you?  I do! (Though I didn’t believe it at the time – and wish I hadn’t acted bad)
  • God is the same way.
  • Tough love isn’t fun, but it’s often necessary.

All Things: The good, bad, and ugly

Romans 8: 28 (NIV) tells us:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

What is my purpose?Those things which may trigger the unrighteous urge to ‘box with God’ may be some of the ‘things’ referred to in this Bible verse.    To put it simply, the things in life that ain’t good!    Whose purpose is being served here?      His, not yours.    That ‘good’ is driven by HIS purpose – which may not always align exactly with your purpose.   So your journey destination, and itinerary, may be somewhat different than you’d envisioned.

  • By the way, being that he is a sovereign God (refer to 2nd Pillar), he can use anyone he chooses whenever he chooses however he chooses.    So, he will, at times, use entrenched doubters and passive believers to achieve his grand purpose.     However, unlike the ‘uncalled’, YOU -as a child of God– will get perfect peace benefits for helping him accomplish his aims!    Again, God will always achieve his purpose – as the Holy Bible tells us in the book of Isaiah.

In the Old Testament, in Isaiah 55: 10 – 11 (KJV) we are told:

For as the rain cometh down , and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower , and bread to the eater:   So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

It’s 100 % clear from these two poignant verses that the Lord isn’t just ‘bopping his chops’ when  he states his desires and wishes.     Shall does not mean could; it means WILL.      The only issue is when and through who.      His mission will be accomplished.

To be continued.

Greg Silverthorne

 Photo Credit (Cross): Dave King / flickrCC

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