Wednesday, March 1, 2023

At What Cost?

At What Cost?
by David Brenneman

Many, myself included, often go after things without thought, without considering the consequences.  Sometimes even in the 'spirit' of doing what God wants or at least what we THINK He was wanting.  But don't consider the details that God's spelled out. 

Moses did that on the heels of the death of Miriam.  Satan attacked with the grumblings of the people to Moses and Moses wasn't thinking things through very well in his obedience to the Lord.  The Lord told him to SPEAK to a rock and water would come out and he instead struck the rock.  Water still came out.  The Lord still proved Himself holy, but it cost Moses and Aaron greatly.  Aaron evidently had some insight into the wrong-doing of Moses.  Shortly thereafter, Aaron died and was replaced...the Scriptures say it's connected to Moses's disobedience.  We don't read it now but do later that Moses begged and pleaded to be allowed to go into the Promised Land.  The Lord told him to stop that.  It wasn't going to happen.  There were consequences to his actions and it was for more than himself.  The people needed to know the price of it.  They knew why he wasn't going with them when that generation did go over to possess the land.

I got ahead of God's plan for me decades ago and it cost me dearly on the path to get there.  

It's one of the reasons why I like that short story version of someone crossing a bridge and being afraid, and asking God to hold their hand on the way.  God said no.  I'll hold your hand.  They asked what was the difference?  If I were holding God's hand I'd be tempted to let go of it and there would be problems.  If God were holding my hand, nothing would separate them.  Big difference.

Psalm 23 resonates with this story as well as Moses's disobedience.  "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, your rod and your staff they comfort me."  It was a dark time for Moses from that day forward.  Knowing that it cost him greatly.  His 'mouthpiece' that was Aaron was now gone.  His son took his place.  His own life would not be what it could have been.  He would be allowed to SEE the Promised land but never to enter it physically.  Spiritually he did.  He and Elijah stood with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.   His body being so important to the future that the Lord buried him and is protecting it from Satan's use.  

Willful and unknowing rebellion and disobedience have a cost.  Sometimes we see it right away sometimes we don't.  

At what cost?  What could have been and would have been.  God's plan for humanity will not be thwarted by anyone in either the physical or spiritual world.  His plans for you, however, are dependent upon your obedience.    

We often create worry, strife, and stress, anger, and a host of other feelings because of our position before God.  Don't trust your feelings because they can lie to you.   Your emotions can get the better of you.  Catagorizing your emotions won't help you.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Moses faltered in this before the people.  God still provided water for them but the price was incredibly high for Moses. What might have been was thrown out the window.  Some may think that the price was too high for the offense...but no...that would be tantamount to saying God made a mistake in His judgment.
Moses was the spokesman, the 'face' of God to the people.  I can only imagine that when Jesus arrived in Paradise that Moses was apologzing face-to-face to Him for what He did.  

Our lives aren't our own after we come to Christ.  We're to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto us.  These things are what God's plan entails for us.  We're to be His OBEDIENT sheep...those sheep that know His voice and obey.  We're to be sheep that tell others about Jesus and arrange the introduction so that they may become His sheep too.  Then we're to build one another up in Christ.   What the world wants of us is inconsequencial compared to that.  

The world wants us to go after success, money, riches, fame, fortune, becoming the image of what Satan wants people to look like in the long run.
The Bible teaches us to go after what Jesus wants of us and to become what He wants us to look like, which is like Christ.  Big difference.

There's one Leader in Christ and that's Jesus.  Leading in the home is one thing but I don't see great teachings on becoming leaders in the Bible.  We're to be the best 'body part' that the Spirit assigns us to be in Christ's body.  We're to not try to be jealous of another part of the body.  We're not to make ourselves into another part of the body.  It's about obedience to our calling in Christ Jesus.  While we yet live in this world we have a part to play, a role to fulfill, in the body of Christ if indeed we came to Christ for salvation.   It's not about our getting saved, getting a ticket to go do what we want.  It's not about seeking fame and fortune until such a time as we die or the Rapture happens...doing our own thing.   When God blesses us we ought to look at how we can be a blessing to others.  

As someone once said, idle minds are the devil's playground.   When we're not focused on what God's put before us to do for Him, we will see the flashy things and go after them.  We'll find out there's a hook involved eventually and snagged we will be, like a fish on a line.  Sometimes that fish is taken out of the water because the consequences are just that they won't be put back in the water.  Sometimes another chance happens and indeed they are back in the water but will have scars from the ordeal.  Sometimes they become bait for others to be caught in.

At what cost will you stop and consider your own obedience?   What kind of pot hole or brick wall is needed for you to see that it's God' plan for you that matters most?   Have you done as I had and gotten away from God?   The road back is 1 step.  Turn and He's right there.  It won't mean that you might not have to go through some things to get back to His plan for you.  The Great Commission isn't just for the Apostles.  We're to be about the Father's business just as Jesus was.

It's not about getting the fanciest of cars, or houses, or the great vacations.  It's not about building wealth to spend on ourselves.  The same chapter of Moses's rebellion also had that of a prophet who also gave into temptation and it cost Israel for the rest of it's existence to this day.  That prophet was tempted by the riches of this world being offered to him.  His donkey saved his life and he wasn't even surprised that the donkey SPOKE to him!  

Our lives in Christ are to be spent wisely.  Not in the foolish ways of the world.  We're to be examples of Christ, not living in the image that Satan wants of people in this world.  When you look in the mirror do you see something of Christ in you or do you see something else not resembling who you ought to be in Him?

Are you running from God or to Him?   

I know Moses had decades of regrets.  I have as well.  Still do.  My life, I can look back, and see my wrong turns.  Yet in His mercy and grace, He's still with me.

"All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
Ere by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate'er fall me
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me
And He cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me strength for every trial
And He feeds me with the living bread
And though my weary steps may falter
And my soul a-thirst may be
Gushing from a rock before me
Though a spirit joy I see

All the way my Savior leads me
Oh, the fullness of His love
Perfect rest in me is promised
In my Father's house above
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight through the realms of the day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus lead me all the way."

- Fanny Crosby "All the way my Savior leads me" 1875

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