“The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” ~Genesis 12:1 NLT
Last week we talked about “Disciplining the Desire” and how the effects of not getting caught feeds our flesh in wanting to continue to do wrong. Today we are going to talk about the consequences of those actions as it relates to God’s will for our lives. God created us in His image and with a purpose for the kingdom that He has every intention to use us for. Are we ready for our change of direction?
Last week I talked about me getting caught taking my mom’s car. I said in that devotion that I got into some “serious life changing trouble”. My life changed as a result of that punishment as I was spiritually set in another direction. What I didn’t cover last week was that I was living with my mother and stepfather. I was a young son/stepson that was giving his mom and stepfather a hard time because of the ‘you are not my daddy’ syndrome.
Well this last attempt at rebellion was a ‘last straw’ for my mom. The agreement had been made that I leave Alabama, the home of all my grade school and middle school education, football career, friends and family, and return to the city of my birth to live with my father for my high school years. Basically leaving my, ‘…native country…’ and everything I knew and was used to.
In the text above, Abraham was directed by God to trust Him and leave everything he knew. The trust and faith were so strong that Abraham didn’t know where he was going. He was just given an order to leave, and he did. He walked his journey trusting in God. And the results of that included him leading God’s people to the promise land.
I didn’t see this when I was directed. I was young and not in God’s Word enough to recognize what was happening to me, but the spirit God gave me guided me. I was able to walk my journey. Even though I didn’t know what was ahead. Even though I was scared at times, I was protected and allowed to make decisions good and bad. But everything I went through came together in the purpose God created in me.
You see, if I had remained where I was, I would have never been in the position to be used in the places God intended for me to be. If I had stayed in Alabama, I would have never attended the historic Pearl High school and met the friends that I hold dear to this day. If I had stayed in Alabama, I would not have attended historic Fisk University and met the friends and fraternity brothers I hold dear. If I had stayed in Alabama, I would not have joined the Army and developed the relationships and received the training and experience that helped develop the qualities required for the strong foundation needed to support the man I would become.
All of this allowed me to become the man I became in Christ almost 30 years later. My life, my wife and my children may not be as they are had I not accepted ‘change’. When I embraced the change in my life, God turned my short comings into huge blessings. For that I am forever grateful. God’s Miracles only happen in His time and in His area of choice. That is why when God says move, we must move. We may not like some of the aspects of the journey, but these aspects play an important role in our Christian development.
May God continue to bless and keep you under His protection on your journey in Jesus’ name.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 “Because the sentence against an evil act is not carried out quickly, the heart of people is filled with the desire to commit evil.”
When I was in middle school, I lived in the country in the middle of nowhere. My nearest friends lived about five miles away. At first, I would get on my bike and ride those five miles to visit them. They, from time to time, did the same. But it was the nighttime that would draw me into an area where I would get in trouble in the future. Some nights I would be on the phone talking to them and since they all lived in the same neighborhood, they would get together and hang out and play. I wanted to be with them. So I came up with a plan.
First night: Now it was too dark to ride my bike, so I got creative. After my parents went to sleep, I took my mother’s keys that were hanging on the keyring in the kitchen. The carport was an open bay and was literally right in front of my parents’ window. I put the car in neutral and pushed the car far enough to start it without being heard. I drove to the neighborhood where my friends lived and partied. (Yes, I did this as a middle school kid).
On the way back home, it was late, and I was praying, “Please don’t let me get in trouble! Please don’t let me get in trouble.” I also remember saying, “If I get out of this, I won’t do it again.” I pulled up to my dark home. All lights off. I was smooth as I turned the car off while coasting down the driveway to the original parking spot under the carport. I eased out of the car and closed the door quietly. I was able to sneak back into the house, into my pajamas and into my bed. The next morning, I didn’t get in trouble. My parents and my sister did not know I had been out. It was because I didn’t get in trouble, I threw everything out about ‘not doing it again’. Instead I was planning my next adventure. I think I pulled the journey off a few more times until I was eventually caught. And when I got caught, I got into some serious life changing trouble.
This is what happens to us all the time. We do things we know we are not supposed to do because in our eyes we get away with it. We think if the repercussions from what we do don’t come then they wont’ come at all. This is not true. Especially if your audience is God.
What really occurs is the fleshly desire to continue to do wrong. Because we haven’t gotten caught, this desire pulls at us resulting in us going forward in a sinful way. For example, I know a few co-workers that thought they could get away with drinking heavy the night before coming into work. This has occurred often because so many days they have gotten away with having hangovers at work, thinking no one noticed. Until that one day they came into work and finally had to deal with the consequences because someone noticed.
We do these acts in our marriages. Just because our spouse doesn’t say anything, doesn’t mean we aren’t caught. We do these acts to our children. We think we act angrily, ungodly and sinful and our children don’t notice. But when they grow older, we see the results of their noticing our short comings in their depressions, addictions and failed relationships.
We must rid ourselves of this desire to do evil. When we know wrong, avoid it. When we know what not to do, don’t do it. And when we know God would not be pleased, seek his blessing by doing good. Because unlike my parents concerning their car, God is always watching.
May God continue to bless and keep you safe in His Son’s precious name,
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.”
Have you ever sent a text that was intended for someone, but you accidently sent it to someone else? If it is a grocery list, or if you are sending a spiritual greeting to someone, it should be okay. But when you send something personal that is only meant for one person and you end up sending it to another, well now that's embarrassing. Sometimes scary because those texts cannot be deleted or retrieved so the words go out never to return.
How about if you are on the phone with someone you are trying to get off with; they finally hang up and you proceed to express how you really feel about that person. After a full on ‘vent’, you look at your phone and realize they have not hung up. They are actually listening and heard every negative thing you just said about them. These are words you cannot take back.
The text and the continued conversation on the phone will always be with the person who received the negative spiritual comments that you gave. Those actions cannot be erased. But it doesn’t mean you can’t create positive spiritual actions going forward.
After all is said and done; after the trials and troubles of this World show their ugly faces, “…the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands…” This is for all of us. The following is a passage from Tony Evans from his Commentary Bible regarding this scripture:
“The truth applies to everyone. You are not an exception. “For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” Life isn’t over when it’s over. The actions of humanity—good and evil—are all on tape. And while you can’t erase what’s on your tape, you can create new and better footage. As long as you draw breath, the recorder is still running. Therefore, don’t waste your days.”
We cannot worry about not being forgiven when God holds healing power; we must focus on walking in Christ from the point of the negative action, on. God will allow the healing and the direction when His children decide to walk on their own free will in His way. He will allow us all to come together and all our mistakes, short comings and ways that were not of God, will be transformed into positive testimony of what God has brought us through and what He has brought together.
Remember, we are not to let the confusion of the trials of this world, take our focus off the fact that our fear is not in the world and all its ways of ungodliness. The fear should arise in God, (knowing that there is no problem bigger than Him.) And that He will bring every act done by man to judgment. So while the ‘recorder is still running’, make sure your actions count in making this world a better place.
It is never too late to walk in Christ. Take this walk one day at a time, training yourself with the Word so that you do not fall back into the ways of you past. (Psalm 199:133 “Guide my steps by Your Word, so I will not be overcome by evil.” ~NLT)
May the Lord continue to bless you and all He places in your path to be touched by Him through you,
2 Corinthians 4:4 “In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” ~CSB
When God created us, He created us with a purpose. He created us with everything we need to succeed in His plan for our lives. The enemy knows this That is why in the text, the enemy is referred to as ‘the god of this age’. In the text it says that he has, “…blinded the minds…”. And even though the text says he has done this to the ‘unbelievers’. Think about what his worldly influence has done and will do to those of us who believe.
For me it was my ego, anger, and alcohol. The world taught me that I wasn’t going to let anyone say anything to me that I felt was an insult. I wasn’t going to be outdone by the next one. I didn’t have an anger issue, (that’s what I told myself). I was just speaking my mind when I yelled or kept someone from talking or giving their opinion.
And as far as the drinking, I would always say I only had ‘two or three’ drinks. I was a grown man; and I could handle my liquor. When we take stands like these, we are allowing ourselves to fall into the world and way of the enemy. Just because another individual challenges our manhood or position in life, we don’t always have to respond in a way that is not of God.
But the world has taught us, we do. Non-believers don’t know any other way, but those of us who are Christians, well, we soon forget what the Word has taught us. That devil, because we allow him control of our flesh, ‘blinds’ us to the gospel that tells us God says to love our neighbors, enemy and friends alike, (Matthew 5:44; 22:39).
Whenever you get to that place in life where you feel you are about to walk in ‘ungodly’ territory; meaning you are about to do, say or act in a way that is ungodly to defend yourself, think about where God has brought you and why. The beginning of Chapter 4 of 2 Corinthians says that since we have this blessing of wisdom from God in knowing our purpose because of His love for us, we should not give up. Even though we may remember shameful things, we don’t act on those desires anymore.
But we now walk in God’s eyes, with Him as our only audience knowing that if anyone or anything is attempting to destroy what He has created in us, He will deal with it, not us. He wants us to act according to His will so that He and His glory can be shown in us. This way the unbelievers that cross our paths have a chance at redemption from what they witness in us.
Allow God to reveal Himself to others allowing them the chance to transform on their own free will, just as we did. And just as we received the blessing of forgiveness and love from our Father in heaven, they will as well. Don’t allow the enemy’s influences to blind you from what you already know. Allow what you now to feed your Spirit and make it strong enough for you to always ‘see’ God’s glory and receive His wisdom.
May the Lord continue to keep His unchanging had upon you as you journey in His Son Jesus’ name,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.