throwing down a gauntlet before God

Few believers want to unintentionally challenge God … a lesson I learned the hard way many years ago.

This is kind of a funny lesson because in telling you what not to do I basically immediately violate what I am advising against … LOL

That said two phrases I have learned to never start a sentence with are …

  • I will never
  • I will always

My first lesson came almost 16 years ago. I was attending Sugar Hill United Methodist Church. I told someone that I could never see myself going to another church and I would always be a member of that church (a double whammy!)

Within a month, we left that church and started attending Shadowbrook Baptist. And within six months we moved lock, stock and barrel from the Buford area 30 miles northeast to rural Georgia.

So what exactly is wrong with those two phrases?

First, ‘I will’ says that my will is stronger that the will of God … LOL

Second, ‘always’ and ‘never’ indicate I am in complete control of all circumstances in my life … LOL

James offers a pretty clear lesson on this topic and the arrogance it reflects …

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16 (ESV)

I think the same guideline can be applied to making promises or oaths … note what Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount …

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5:33-37 (ESV)

Did you notice that … both of those passages ended with the word evil?  Very interesting …

Just so you understand I am still learning these lessons … I guess I’m a slow learner …

In the middle of the first decade of the third millennium, I studied the evils inherent with mega churches and the multi-campus model and pretty much decided I would always go to a small church. Within a year I found myself and my family going to 12Stone Church … a spiritually vibrant church and one of the fastest growing mega churches in America. After five or six years, I sensed the need to move again … this time to a smaller local community church.

So where did we end up?

An even larger spiritually vibrant mega-church as an on-line attendee … North Point Community Church.

So the moral to the story is be careful not only of what you say, but what you think as well regarding ‘I will always’, ‘I will never’ and promises and oaths..

Still learning … If the Lord wills

Bernie

P.S.  This post is dedicated to Jamey … thanks for loving and caring for me and my family brother!  You are greatly appreciated and loved!!!

Advertisements

About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Faith, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to throwing down a gauntlet before God

  1. jimdavenport says:

    Completely identify my brother! It seems that the flesh is full of promises that are so easily broken. Jim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s