Thursday, August 3, 2023

Our silent and not so silent "But God!"

Our silent and not so silent "But God!"
by David Brenneman 

"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions."
Mark 11:26

How often do we try to sway God to our point of view rather that to follow Him in His?

In the area of forgiveness...there are no if's and's or but's.  We are not to cry out in our innermost being to God about someone we just can't forgive. He can't possibly mean THAT person!  He can't mean that!

Actually, yes, He can and, yes, He does. 

We will indeed try to craft our immediate surroundings on our own wants and desires before we ask God what should be in it.  It's the way of the world.  Everyone doing what is right in their own eyes has been happening since Adam and Eve. 

Me: But God did you see...

Jesus:  You DO realize who it is you are addressing? 

Me: But God they...

Jesus:  Must I repeat Myself?  

Jesus: When you listened and came to me to be saved...didn't I forgive every single sin you HAD committed and every single sin you WOULD commit?  

Me: But...

Jesus: no but's.  Take up your own cross and follow Me. 

We really listen way too much to the world and our own desires before we even consider what God said about us and others.  We want our idea of justice or a future.  We aren't particularly patient about waiting for God's timing, we want what we want and we want it now.  We don't want to wait because if we wait, the opportunity might not come again.  

Really? If it's God's will, there's no stopping it from coming again.  If it isn't, and you force the situation with yourself or others, the Spirit WILL have something to say and do about it.

We can say all we want that we believe God, believe His Word...yet we like creating personal exceptions.  

We make lists of other's wrongs.  The Father doesn't, the Son Jesus Christ doesn't and the Spirit doesn' that only leaves us.  1 Corinthians 13 says that love does not keep track of wrong's. 

We sometimes cop the attitude that we aren't able to forgive and forget like God does.  Who's supposed to be living in us?  Who's life are we to become conformed to?

So many lives are ruined because of individual selfishness.  Of our wanting what we want, when we want it. 

Rather than keeping score, throw away the list.  Forgive as you have been forgiven by Christ Jesus.  

Jesus wasn't making a suggestion in Mark 11:26.  This is a command. 

When our hearts and minds are pointed to this truth and we dig our heels in, saying we just can't...then we side with Satan. We put up barriers between us and God.  We do by our choice.  

Jesus met many thousands of people in His days on this Earth that He didn't have to forgive, but, He did.

Jesus didn't have to forgive you, but He has.

We have no right in Christ Jesus to aide in destroying what He brought together.  We have no right in Christ Jesus to put self above others.  What did Jesus also say that connects with this idea of forgiveness and self?

"For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:36.

Crafting our world in our image will only lead to disappointment and failure.  We won't be able to keep it or maintain it. 

We aren't here to get the most for ourselves out of life.  We aren't to exhibit ourselves to the world. We who are in Christ are to be lights in this present moment of darkness. 

We give Jesus pain and sadness when we are not willing to do for others what He gladly did for us.  What's sadder still is the many people who don't care.  They just know how they feel, how they hurt, and how they just can't.  In Christ all things are possible.  

Believer's can actually be as harsh if not harsher than those in the world due to our knowledge of how to wield the Word of God.  Pointing towards Scripture as to why they can't or won't obey God because this person did this or said that. 

Really throws out being dead to self and alive to Christ. 

We may indeed have to set aside much to obey Christ.  Doesn't mean at all that He can't or won't bring us back to what we are to let go of.  Of paramount importance is our full obedience in Christ Jesus.

No more "But God!!".  Stop that here and now.   Quit trying to get your own way.  We are not here for personal satisfaction or reasons.  We were born in this here and this now for Kingdom purposes.  We are to be workers in His fields for His sake. 

Jesus said plainly that we must deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Him.  When self wants to point out the wrongs of others, throw that away.  When self wants to put self before those whom God has in our lives for His reasons and His purpose, throw it away.  

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20. 

It will, not just may, mean giving up on some dreams and desires.  It may mean our future isn't going to be what we want it to be.  

Joseph's certainly wasn't.  Yet, he was blessed of God regardless.  He had EVERY single right and reason to be bitter towards his brothers but wasn't.  Christ was with him.   

Let us all put off this wasteful time of trying to bargain with or to sway the Lord Jesus Christ.  

So what, we don't get what we want when we wanted it.  Do you not think that Jesus might have something better in store for you?  That to Him a healed relationship is beyond more important than our being right or our getting what we want?  

That our relationships in Christ are infinitely more important than anything of this world???

Believers against Believers is an affront to the Spirit and the Word of God.  Believers against Believers brings shame to the Name of Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote of how ashamed people ought to be who wouldn't work things out within the Church.  Who would put self before the health of the Body of Christ.  

Who in your life today would benefit from your truly forgiving them? 

Who would benefit the most from you doing whatever is right in God's eyes rather than your own?

Who are you trying the most to make happy, you or Jesus?

Who's relationship that God has brought together with you are you hurting by your wanting your way?

Taking the right direction begins with a single step in obedience.  God will bring the rest.  Don't hold onto your dreams more than your relationships. 

Remember that Jesus didn't come to be served but to serve.  He gave His all to make us right in Himself.  Our dreams and our desires can be our justification to ruin what God has joined together.  

Jesus obeyed His Father to the point of dying on a cross, being through the most horrible treatment even before being nailed to it.  Doesn't He deserve our very best at living life as true followers of Christ?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

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