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The Cost of Doing It Our Way
September 15, 2016
I have two beautiful children and I love them more than I can express with words. Every good parent knows this feeling. Regardless of anything they do (or don't do) I still love them. A couple of years ago, my son wanted to play a video game with me and I told him that the next day, after work, I would be happy to oblige. All day that next day, my anticipation was building and I was probably looking more forward to playing with him than he was. I love to spend time with my kids.
When I got home, the tension was moody. My wife told me that during the day, he had kicked up an attitude and had spoken back to her in a way that is unacceptable. She had dealt with it, but he was upstairs in his room, sulking. A little while later, the attitude came out and he spoke up against her while I was there, so I had to go and discipline him. This was very unusual as he is normally a very well behaved boy.
In the end, we never did end up getting to play our video game together. This was a consequence of his actions. I didn't stop loving him. Rather, my love for him, prompted me to discipline him. This meant that he had to endure some unpleasant consequences rather than doing the thing he wanted. I wanted to bless him with that time together doing something we both enjoy, but his actions prevented this from happening.
This is much the way it is with our relationship with God. He loves us and wants to bless us. However, many times we get it in our heads to do things our own way, or we kick up an attitude and then God has to put aside the blessing and allow us to go through some unpleasant consequences of our actions.
A great example of this is when Jesus and the disciples were crossing the lake and Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat. Lets take a look at this passage in Luke 8:22-25,
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out. As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.
The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”
So here, in this example Jesus and the disciples are in this sailboat boat making their way across. At this point, they're not at shore. The bible says they were sailing, which means that this boat needed wind to move. It goes on to say that Jesus rebuked the wind and "all was calm". Now, if you're in a sailboat and "all is calm" then there's really only one way to finish crossing that lake. I believe at this point the disciples had to start rowing to finish the journey. This was the consequence of their unbelief.
Let's take a look at another example. In Numbers 20: 7-12 we see this story,
The LORD said to Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”
So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD. Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill.
But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
God told Moses to take the people to the Rock and speak to it in order to bring the water. Instead, Moses struck the rock in a fit of anger. There's a lot more to unpack from this story, but needless to say the consequences of Moses' disobedience cost him the opportunity to enter the promised land.
Now, take a look at your self for a moment. Is there anything in your life that might bring consequences you don't want? Is there anything that's hindering you from receiving God's blessing in your life? Examine yourself and ask God to reveal anything you might not be aware of.