Is This What You Wanted?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, November 26, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

There were many times growing up when I chose to ignore my parents’ wisdom in order to choose what I wanted. I had all kinds of reasons of why it was "ok" or even a "good" choice. It didn’t matter how much I rationalized; it wasn't okay and it wasn't good. I was breaking relationship and making decisions that could affect us all. And deep down, I knew it.

Last week, I challenged all of us to examine what our relationship with God is like. If you didn't read that blog post, you can by clicking here. If our relationship is healthy, then we know who God is and we don't allow other agendas, ideologies, or religions confuse us about His identity. If our relationship with God is poor, then we may be confused. We may be tempted to pick and choose the parts of religions we like, and try to "cover all our bases" in case God is not who we thought He was. Or we may just flat out reject His authority all together in order to trust our own power and humanity.

Consequences will follow either a healthy or unhealthy relationship with God. And Israel learned the hard way, that turning away from God was not worth the consequence. Read Judges 10:10-18.

Notice that after Israel rejects God, He decides to inform them of their consequence. Since they decided to worship other gods, God tells them that He will no longer rescue them and that they should ask the other gods to rescue them. Nothing is more sobering than a sudden reality check. Suddenly, the real risk, the real cost of turning away is right in front of them. Their reaction exposes the root of their broken relationship.

They had turned from God, not because of who He was or wasn't, but rather because of what THEY wanted. They added all these other gods in to try and gain power, influence, to be treated normally in the culture, etc. But when they are faced with trusting these other gods for their lives, what do they do?

The stark reality of what they know to be true, that God alone is God and there are no other gods beside Him, was put in front of them with a sobering choice. If they really thought these other gods had any real power or control over life, they would have shrugged off God's statement and said goodbye to Him. But they immediately begged God for forgiveness and cleared out all the false gods in their midst.

As a father, I am saddened when my kids choose not to listen to or trust my guidance. When I see them face consequences they didn't have to, it hurts me too. When they know what is good and choose something less, it is hard to watch. I am grateful when they realize the truth of their situation and run back to me for help. From what I can tell, God feels the same way. I am so glad that we do not have to rely on empty philosophies and broken ideologies that have no power. He will let us trust our illusions and desires if we insist, but He knows that when we come to our senses we will wake up to His grace and mercy. I pray we all come to see Him clearly while we still have time to lay down all the lesser thoughts and things.

I invite you again to examine your relationship with God, and to consider what beliefs or ideologies you are trusting. Then consider this: do any of them have the power to rescue you from danger, or guide your life with eternal Truth? Don't dismiss that question too quickly. You may have experiences where you didn't get what you want, or God didn't do what you wanted, but that doesn't mean He isn't there. It doesn't mean He isn't powerful, and it doesn't mean He isn't right, just, and true.

We have the same choice as Israel. We can trust the gods we fashioned out of our desires, or we can trust God Almighty regardless of how He may or may not meet our expectations. Somewhere deep down, if we are honest, there is a part of us that knows God is real and that we should trust Him. Will you do the work to get past confusion and distraction to have a healthy relationship with Him?

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