“God Understands Why I’m Disobeying Him…”
That is one of Satan’s go to moves. He wants us to believe that those things are for most people. Other people.
Him. Her. Them.
Anyone but us.
Our situation is different. Our circumstances are special. We get a pass.
I’ve read the Bible cover to cover and I’ve never seen any asterisks.
There’s no appendix in the back with a list of exceptions.
There’s no fine print or disclaimer at the bottom of the page that let’s us off the hook.
God’s word is God’s word. None of us get a pass.
We sometimes think that God will let it slide because we’re a pastor/deacon/regular attendee/church member/Sunday school teacher/volunteer/pastor’s kid/tither/missionary/bible school graduate/good person/(insert your perceived qualifying exception), and well, “God knows my heart, so I’m okay. We’re okay…”
But, God does see our heart, that’s the problem. We’re not okay. (And if you think you’ll find peace while blowing off God, read the book of Jonah. He was a prophet who served God faithfully. Until he tried to swap out what he wanted for what God told him. How’d that work out for him?)
During my time away from God, I became well versed in that kind of (il)logic and still have to fight it from time to time. We become rationalization specialists. Expert excuse makers. I could list those on my resume under special skills. It’s sad.
We start thinking things like:
“I know God says, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, but I have a personal relationship with him, so I don’t need to “go to church.”
(((insert buzzer effect)))
“I know God says hating someone in your heart is murder in his eyes, but you don’t know my boss/uncle/neighbor. God understands why I can’t stand them. (Besides, wasn’t that just for the Bible people anyway?)”
“Yes, Jesus said what God has joined together let NO man tear apart, and yes, he hates divorce, but you don’t know my husband. God wants me to be happy, so he’ll understand.”
Cue the buzzer.
“It’s not really gossip, I’m just venting.”
“Insurance companies expect you to fudge.”
“I know this show is raunchy, and vulgar, but, I’m a grown up, it doesn’t affect me, I just ignore those parts.”
We need to stop bending, twisting and parsing what He said into what WE want.
And if we’re not willing to say, “Okay God, your way,” and stop rewriting His word on the fly, to suit our whims of the moment, then aren’t we really the ruler of our hearts and lord of our lives?
Are we just putting on a pretty good show?
Fooling ourselves, or even others, doesn’t help us where it matters. As my Pastor in California used to say, “There’s no future in fronting.'”
God cannot be mocked.
Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”
– Jesus (Matthew 7:21)
If we’re not following God, we’re not followers of God.
I mean, it makes sense, right?
Yes, what He tells us to do IS hard. Yes it WILL cost us. We may be scared. It may be uncomfortable. It may be the LAST THING we want to do.
– Ananias was really apprehensive about meeting with Saul, but he went.
– Noah didn’t want to be mocked and ridiculed, but he built the ark.
– Jesus asked God to avoid the cross, if there was another way, but He still died for us.
See, we don’t have to always want to it. We just have stop looking for loopholes and surrender.
Jesus said we need to DENY OURSELVES DAILY and follow him. We can’t do that and live for ourselves. It’s not possible.
We can be like James and John, who threw down their nets and never looked back. Or, like the rich young ruler, we can walk away sad.
Listen, we can’t do this on our own. We will NEVER be able to do the things we find difficult without praying to God daily for strength to obey him in these things. Get a friend to help hold you accountable in this area as well.
If you’d like more resources or prayer for a specific situation, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.