Something struck me tonight in prayer that gave me a big dose of the fear of the Lord and I wanted to share the warning.
There are patterns in our lives that we haven’t submitted to God because we simply haven’t wanted to. We’ve tried to use every excuse in the book to justify why we’ve continued the way we have, but when it comes down to it, we do it because we haven’t wanted to end the patterns. We have a love-hate relationship with them; we hate to love them.
Let me explain. My son had a behavior problem for a while. Okay, he still kinda has it but I’m prophetically (or pathetically, I’m not sure) believing he’s changing. Anyway, I did everything I could think of to cause him to change. Positive reinforcement, spanking (yes, I spank my child when it’s warranted), taking things away, grounding, and going to bed early just to name a few of the myriad things I’ve tried. Nothing worked. Nothing mattered enough to him to give up the behavior. He was perfectly happy to do what he was doing and deal with the punishment without changing.
What I realized in prayer is that is me. I think it’s a lot of us, actually, and I think God is warning us that the jig is up. It’s time to decide. It’s time to choose – our desire, our will, or His righteousness.
He has been gently goading us in the right direction for a long while now. He’s given blessing after blessing to bring us to repentance, has drawn back the blessing when we’ve continued in our will, and has allowed us even to trip and fall in our patterns to bring us to realization that we haven’t fully submitted to Him. And now, it’s time to decide one way or another, once and for all who/what we will serve.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”Isaiah 55:6-7
It’s hard to kick against the goads. It hurts. But in our pride, we choose to take the pain of it because we want what we want. But when will it be enough? When will we decide God’s way is better? When will we choose loving and serving God over our own desires?
NOW. We have to choose now. We aren’t promised tomorrow and although His mercies are new every morning, if we rebel hard enough, He will allow us to throw off our yoke with Him. If we do that, there’s no telling if we will ever come back to Him.
“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”Hebrews 6:4-6
Choose God today. If we will decide right here and now to follow Jesus, no holding back, He will honor and reward that decision.
If we don’t, there’s no telling how long we have before we’ve locked ourselves for good in the prison of our desires and will be subject for eternity to the consequence of choosing them over God.
Pray in your own way, but go humbly before Him and ask Him to reveal any pattern or sin you have not yet repented of or submitted to Him. Then yield. Do whatever it takes to stop the cycle and get help if you need to. He is worthy of giving it all up for.