Information and Obedience
I think one of the reasons we disobey God is that we are convinced that we know better than He does. We choose not to obey because we don’t think that God understands the consequences, that He doesn’t know what will happen if we do what He says. We choose not to forgive because we think He doesn’t know how badly we’re hurt. We choose not to give because He doesn’t understand our needs.
Let me assure you, He knows.
God knows what our obedience will cost us. He understands that when Jesus said to “take up our cross daily and follow Him,” that humiliation and death were the likely outcomes. He also knows the glory that will be revealed in us for the eternity we are made for. He is, in fact, the only one with all the answers. He is the One who knows that if you obey now, He can guide you around the pain later. Examples? He knows that adultery destroys lives, so He commands that certain things belong only between a husband and wife, and only after they are married. Is it hard? Yes. Will we face ridicule? Yes. Will we have to detach from some of our surrounding culture to not even allow opposing messages into our lives and our families? Yes.
Another example? Marriage is a relationship based on God’s love for His people. It requires trust, commitment, and self-sacrifice. So He directs His people to only marry those who are His people, because the foundation between them must be established as His word? Do some people have lovely stories of marrying unbelievers and seeing them saved? Yes. Because God is able to use all things, even our own sin, to bring people to Him.
Another example? Lies destroy, we’re told to be truthful, even if it is difficult. We’re told to honor God with our minds, and then find that education is the key to our futures. We’re told to assemble together to encourage, and then we realize that all those hours at church have built relationships that are there for us in crisis. The list could go on and on and on….
God knows our pain, yet forgives us! Reread the story of the crucifixion, and understand that our paintings and art about the cross protect our sensitivities. When the soldiers gamble for the 5th garment of Jesus, that was His last stitch of clothing. The cross was the most humiliating, painful way of death imaginable. And to what end? To have people over the years, including us, to treat it lightly. Yet there is still forgiveness for us. Have you been hurt more than Jesus? Doubtful. Can you forgive? If you have Him as Lord. Will you still hurt? Possibly so, but be assured your eternity is settled with One who knows your hurt.
God knows our needs, yet still calls on us to give. Give to those who need help, give to provide for His work, give to missions, give here, there, everywhere. And not just our money, but our time and our efforts. It’s not easy sometimes, but He does know our need. Just as He feeds the sparrows and clothes the flowers of the fields, still He provides for us. What activates His provision is His faithfulness and our obedience. If we are obedient to Him, He will be faithful to meet what we need. Does this spawn a long conversation about what we need? Certainly. But those things that are true needs will be met if we are faithful to Him.
Bro. Doug Hibbard
Calvary Baptist Church