Every now and then I make some rather audacious statements concerning Christianity. I suppose making these types of statements, for me, is a natural out flowing of seeking to be faithful to God.
I made one such audacious statement in a sermon the last Sunday of 2012. I sought to brace the people of New Life so it would not catch them completely off guard. I warned them that some would not like what I was about to say…but I was OK with that. However, I did relay my hope that they would ponder and pray about the statement and hopefully come to a point of agreeing with it in the near future. I went on to say that God knows what He is doing.
I kept going for a bit, but it seemed my point was missed, so I let them know I had made my audacious statement – God knows what He is doing. This promptly drew a few chuckles and not a few puzzled looks. So I added that we ought to give the Creator of everything the benefit of the doubt – He knows what He is doing.
I was serious when I said it then, and am serious while writing about it now. We, the finite creation, need to give the Infinite Creator of EVERYTHING the benefit of the doubt and trust He knows what He is doing.
Well, this may sound nice, but what difference does it actually make? Is there any impact for my life you may ask. Yes, there is. The benefits that come from being honest with God are immense.
Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever get in trouble? If you did not please feel free to stop reading right now. Better yet, call your parents and ask them (if you still have contact with them that is).
Anyway, did you ever try and deny what you did, while not knowing your parents knew what you did, and therefore receive a more harsh punishment? Conversely, did you ever confess what you did and get a bit lighter punishment? Some may be able to relate to this analogy, others may not. Regardless, it is a way to understand something about God. Namely, honesty with God is a good thing. When we are honest with Him there is forgiveness and empowerment. Yet when we are dishonest with Him there is bondage and misery.
A lot of God’s people need to be honest with Him and confess a variety of things. Think of all the problems in The Church right now. A lack of forgiveness leads to people leaving churches, and worse yet, splitting churches. Materialism is out of control, which leads to next-to-nothing giving (on the overall scale) and needs being unnecessarily unmet all around us – and the world. A lack of prayer leads to people not seeking God’s guidance and will for their lives; simultaneously they go about living their lives as if they have no need for God. This is further shown by a lack of reading in God’s Word while making time for newspapers, magazines, TV shows, recreation, etc.
I realize all of those can have their justifications. For lack of time I will not mention any, only to provide what I hope to be a future link. Yet justifications are not confession…and they will keep people in bondage to the habits, and whatever else, is influencing them.
So, what is one to do? Well, in light the audacious thought of “God knows what He is doing,” how about doing the following. Find Scripture that addresses a certain issue with which you struggle, read it, be honest with God, and ask for help. It would look something like this…
If you struggle with forgiveness read Matthew 5:43-48 (where Jesus tell us to love our enemies), you might also read Matthew 18:21-35 (a parable about unforgiveness). Then say something like, “God, I am not there right now…I can’t forgive this person…what is more, I don’t really even want to forgive this person…yet I know Your word tells me I must forgive them…God, please help me…please give me a desire to forgive because right now I do not even have it…and honestly, I don’t even want that desire…BUT I trust You more than I trust me.”
That may sound foolish, but I assure you, it is not. It is not because of a few things: 1) you are in God’s word, 2) you are praying to (communicating with) God, 3) you are being honest with God, and 4) it opens the door for God to do what only He can do. Seriously, do you think He is unaware of your lack of a desire to forgive someone? Do you really want to continue to feel bad for not reading or praying? Do you really want to live in disobedience while being deceived by the evil one?
I did not think so.
I challenge you to try this method with whatever issue you are facing in your life. For some, it may need to start by reading 2 Corinthians 4:4 (Satan blinding eyes), 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (taking thoughts captive), and Matthew 4:9 (showing Satan’s ownership of this world). Satan (though defeated and bound) is alive and well enough to cause havoc in the lives of anyone – including those seeking to follow God. Maybe we all need to beg God to be merciful and reveal where we are being deceived by the evil one.
None of us are above that…and after all, honesty with God is a good thing.