It’s easy to blame others for the struggles we face. Honestly, in this world struggles are going to happen whether it’s ‘their fault,’ ‘your fault,’ or ‘nobody’s fault’; mankind has walked away from God, who is its Creator and Sustainer; therefore sin, which results from leaving God out of our lives, and trouble is our master.
We lie awake at night thinking up ways to get ahead, to have revenge, to take what we desire; and in the morning, we set out to walk in our own way. And when our plans don’t work out, and blame needs to be placed, God replies, because you walked away from my ‘perfect design,’ “I will reward your evil with evil; you won’t be able to pull your neck out of the noose. You will no longer walk around proudly, for it will be a terrible time.” (Micah 2:3 NLT)
And when we make our complaint against God and try to rationalize our own poor decisions, God declares, “Stand up and state your case against me. Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints. “O my people, what have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me? Answer me!” (vs. 6:1, 3) In our silent resentment, God declares His judgment; “Who has sustained you even when you lived like I didn’t exist? You think because you work you provide for yourself… Who gave you health and strength? Who sustains the order and continuity for work to even be performed…You? You cannot even support your own lives, let alone the structure of life itself! Have I not given my own Son so that you can live and obtain all that is necessary for life and godliness? I delivered Him over to be sacrificed in your place. If I did that, how will I not also with Jesus, freely give you all things? (adapted from Rom 8:32)
You say you can placate God and buy His affections? “What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? NO!, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
(Micah 6:6-8 NLT)
You desire to pull away as a little child, running off in your own selfish ambitions. But God just wants to walk closer with you. He wants to show you firsthand how much He loves you. God is holy; therefore, to know Him, to walk closer to Him, you must be holy as well. This requires obedience to His Word, so you do it the right way, loving Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. It requires we humbly come to Him, having put off our self-righteousness, and put on a life of authentic faith in Jesus Christ; a faith that rests in His finished work of salvation. When we humbly do this… we are invited to boldly walk through the veil of Christ’s body, which was given for us and enter into God’s presence, walking humbly with Him. Wow!
We so easily get lost in the ‘who is at fault’ or ‘what can I do,’ that we miss the ‘how can I rest in His amazing and sufficient grace?’ God’s desire is for us to enjoy His Perfect love, Perfect joy, Perfect Beauty, Perfect justice, and find rest in His Perfect design for you. No blame to be passed out, no condemnation for those who believe, just a closer walk with Him.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body, God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Therefore, I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Romans 8:1-4; Ephesians 4:1-3)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.