Saturday, August 6, 2016

Daily Devotional August 6 - Consequences For Actions

""Now also many nations are gathered against thee, (Zion, Jerusalem) that say, let her (Israel) be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD; neither understand they His counsel: for He shall gather them as sheaves into the floor."  Micah 4:11-12

There are large groups of people that do not have the thoughts of the Lord in their mind. They don't know what God intends. They don't know the story of life. They don't have the thoughts of God in their mind. They are bent on following after their own devices. They are driven by their own pride and self-serving ideals. They hate another people because they don't have the thoughts of God in their minds, neither do they understand God's ways. They are fighting a battle of a few thousand years ago. They've let the hatred pass down from generation to generation, without suppressing it or stamping it out for the better good of all. God has called them, but they answer with gestures of hate. This is what happens when we deny God His rightful place in our life design. We become bitter and full of pride.

Not knowing the thoughts of God is a choice. Every day you choose:
Whether to move forward with God and dig deeper into His thoughts
or to stay comfortably where you are and ride the fence
or to move away from God and let the weeds grow in your garden

The problem is that there are consequences to your actions. The consequences are not acts of God against you as some think. They are natural results that are the outcome of your actions.
If you are moving closer to God each day, the outcome is that of growing in grace and understanding the will of God and the results of your decisions are favorable. Even when things go wrong, you have confidence that through prayer hard work you can turn it around. Even in the deep valleys you have assurance that with God all things are possible. Even during the most bottom of times, you have within you the knowledge that being in the valley in God's will is far better than being on the mountaintop out of God's will.

If you are staying comfortably on the fence, you don't have the same confidence. You question your every move. You aren't quite sure if you are protected. Decisions are difficult, because you are making too many of them without consulting God and getting His counsel. Sitting on the fence keeps you from your adventure. It keeps you stagnant and it can eventually cause you to give up and go the other way, because you want to see God move on your behalf, but God is not always moving right at the edge of the fence line. And sometimes God needs you to put feet to your prayers and that's hard to do while sitting on the fence.

If you are moving away from God, you are having a hard time at every crossroads of life. Everything is skewed. You have no confidence except in your own devices. You should know from experience that your own devices are lacking and have no real power. Life is hard on this road, because there is no protection nor is there ever-present help in trouble. You start it, you have to water it, weed it, prune it, fertilize it, harvest it, all on your own. It is a rough and tiresome road with rest. You can get bitter and resentful because when you fail you blame God. You can get hateful because you begin to think that God is unfair and that you deserve a different lot in life. The bitterness grows until it turns into callousness against the things of God and then your heart hardens like a stone and the distance away from God seems greater than ever.

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