As you read through Scripture you soon identify recurring themes. Things that are said time and time again – often in different ways, but ultimately proclaiming the same message. The theme of today’s Scripture is one that is found all the way through the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation! It reads like a lament from God for His people, who are always having to suffer the consequences of ignoring the living God, going their own way, worshipping false gods, losing God’s protection and missing out on His blessing!
They then become vulnerable to their enemies and God is unable to help them for they are using their God-given freewill to follow a pathway of their own choosing. And in so doing they are opening wide the door to the influence of the enemy in their lives and ultimately to his control. This same pattern can often be the way people, yes even believers, live their lives today. They choose to lay aside the guidance of God’s Word and follow their own inclinations. They ignore the instruction of Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding.”
If you trust in your own ideas, when they are at variance with God’s Word and His ways, you are headed along a wrong pathway and towards the place where your enemies will be waiting for you at the next bend in life’s road. Sadly, many is the time I have had to be the bearer of both the good news and the bad news! Which one would you like to hear first, I might say? The bad news is that because of the way you have been living your life, it’s no surprise that you are now encountering real issues in your life and it seems as though you are never able to overcome the problems you face. The good news is that “if we confess our sins . . . God is faithful just and will forgive us . . . and purify us from all sin” (1 John 1:9).
And so it is that in life there are choices that have to be made – do I go God’s way or my way? The rich young ruler went away sorrowful – his money had become an idol and the thought of giving it up was too much for him. There are many things God asks of us that can seem like a sacrifice, but when the sacrifice releases God’s protection and blessing, is it really a sacrifice? The fact is that it was Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could walk out of the enemy’s jail and into the freedom of eternal life. Is it too much, therefore, to ask that we should desire to walk in His ways with hearts full of gratitude and thanksgiving?
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