It’s quite easy to be faithful and honest when people around us are aware of what we’re doing or saying. The true test comes, though, when no one will know whether we’re being truthful or not.
Recently, a friend of mine went to an autobank to draw cash. Later that day she needed some of the money, and only then did she notice that the amount was more than she’d withdrawn. It was a small amount, but she chose to contact the bank to notify them of the mistake. What struck her was the reaction of three staff members at that bank who contacted her after she’d let them know. They thanked her for her honesty and all said that they’d never had a similar request in all the years they’d been working at the bank. One of them had actually been there for twenty-five years.
I’m sure it almost never happens, and the notes were probably just sticking together. My friend knew she had no cash prior to this in her purse – so it was easy for her to realise that there had been a mistake. No one would have known about this if she’d kept quiet, but the Lord would have known – and that’s why she chose to be obedient.
It wasn’t about people or about the bank. It was a decision to be in right-standing with the Lord. This may be a small thing to many reading this, but if we look at today’s verse we realise that it means more than we can perceive. In Proverbs 5:21(NLT) we read: ‘For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes’.
How many times do opportunities like this arise in our lives? Sometimes it’s more difficult to be truthful, because the reactions from the people in our lives can be negative. We’re occasionally made fun of for being honest. Or if we bring something into the open that others would prefer to hide, we can even be ostracized. There are endless examples.
To walk in righteousness with the Lord shouldn’t be seen as a punishment, nor should it come from a place of fear, but from a place of deep reverence towards the Lord. Our Father is loving and kind. His ways are always intended to protect us from the enemy’s schemes (who’s trying to trap us and draw us away from God).
Being obedient to the Lord should be rooted in our love for Him, not in fear of punishment. When our obedience is rooted in ungodly fear, we believe the lie that the Lord is an unfair taskmaster, and we submit to slavery. Living in fear of judgement causes us to miss out on being in a nurturing relationship with the Lord. He longs for us to draw near to Him, but fear makes us believe the lie that He’s far away. ‘The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth’ Psalm 145:18-19, NLT).
Every time we come to a crossroad and need to make a decision in our daily lives, we can always turn to the Lord for His guidance. He’ll show us what to do or say, when to react and when not to. He’s our ever-present Companion. In every situation that arises, He’s present.
Prayer: Father God, I need You in my life, and acknowledge that I don’t want to live without You. Forgive me for the times when my actions haven’t been godly, or in line with Your Will. Thank You that, in You, I’m righteous. Please help me from now on to make choices that honour what You’ve done for me on the cross at Calvary. Amen.
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