"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Monday, June 05, 2006

When Good Is Bad

      The man of God received a clear message from God not to eat or drink in a certain place or return the way he came. Another "man of God," an elderly prophet, witnessed the wonders the man of God performed in Bethel and knew he must be hungry and thirsty. So the old prophet offered food and drink at his home, saying, "... an angel told me by the word of the Lord ..."
      Listening to his stomach instead of God, the man of God bought the lie, no doubt with the best of intentions. For that, God judged him.
      Was God unfair? Should He have cut the man of God some slack because the poor sap had "needs?" Though the passage doesn't reveal the man of God's internal thoughts and motivations, God knew them.
      As Christians, we are men and women of God, and He has revealed to us His way through His word and, in some instances, through His Holy Spirit's prompts. In either case, God has made His way clear to us so we have no excuse for deviating from it. That is the "best."
      Often, however, God's directions will seem remote, clouded by time's passing and the world's urgent pressures. "Needs" will try to pull or push us out of God's way. Brethren who have observed our struggles will come along side, and with the best of intentions, offer "good" help or advice.
      When we cave to those "good" pressures, God might send a bear to kill us as He did the man of God. And we'd deserve it. But unlike the man of God's situation in the book of First Kings, we live under God's new covenant of grace through his Son's holy blood. Does that mean we will suffer no consequences for disobeying God's clear directions? Not according to His Law of Sowing and Reaping. Jesus' apostle Paul spoke wisely about following God's directions: "... yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel."
      So then, are we to let our critical needs go wanting, just to obey God's old, dusty directions? A Bible verse we all learned in Sunday School answers that for us: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."
      God was patient with us until we saw fit to come to Him through Jesus' blood. Shouldn't we wait for his promised provision for our needs?

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