“If it’s not broke, why fix it.” Why should Satan have to change his tactics when it’s so easy to entice humans through their senses. Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded by a sensory overload that attempts to seduce us through what we see, hear, and feel emotionally. Temptation is so prevalent on TV, in movies, the Internet, and Social Media, that we can become apathetic and almost indifferent to that still small voice that whispers, “This is wrong.” For temptation will remain only a temptation…as long as you don’t act on it.
The Lord calls you to do His work and instead, you balk. You feel incapable, inept, and unfit for the job. Wonderful! You’re in great company! Here King David, a man after God’s own heart, lamented…”Who am I Lord to be used by You?” When God called Moses, all he could do was make excuses and ask, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Isaiah, when called, could only fixate on his own sinfulness and unclean lips, not on what God was commissioning him to do.(Isaiah 6:5) Jeremiah tried to justify not obeying the Lord by claiming he was too young to preach. (Jeremiah 1:6) And Ezekiel when called, just got angry. (Ezekiel 3:14) Realize that you are not alone when you feel unworthy and unqualified for the plan God has laid out before you. He would not have called you if He wasn’t absolutely certain you were the best one for the job. Please understand that the Lord isn’t asking you to do it alone…He’ll be with you every step of the way…He’s only asking for your obedience.
Giving…whether it be money, time or talents is a real stumbling block for many Christians. We tend to be a selfish, self-centered people…when the Lord wants us to be generous. We want to be recognized and honored for anything we do…when the Lord requires discretion. (Matthew 6:1-4) We give the Lord left-overs…rather than, like the poor widow, giving all we have.
We were all once, “…without hope and without God in the world.” We were separated from Him by a chasm so deep and wide… there was no way of getting across by ourselves. In this bleak darkness our desperation grew, and we felt the hopelessness of being abandoned. But God then provided the bridge across that vast chasm…it was in the shape of a Cross. The gracious gift of redemption and reconciliation was bound to this Cross as the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, ran down it. Yes, we were all once hopeless and cut off from God…but then God built a bridge for us…in the shape of a Cross.
Have troubles gone beyond the bounds of your human strength…put your hope in the Lord. Have all your expectations, desires, and dreams crumbled before your eyes…put your hope in the Lord. Are you in the middle of an impossible situation with no seemingly way out…put your hope in the Lord. For God can perform wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted. (Job 5:9) He is the God of the unattainable, the unsolvable, and the hopeless…for He is the God of the impossible, and nothing is too hard for Him. (Genesis 18:14)
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul, rephrases this idea in I Corinthians 8:6, when he writes, “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” Even though our feeble human minds have a difficult, almost impossible chance of understanding the sheer magnitude of this Scripture…let’s try. Everything has a starting point. But with God, He’s not only the starting point, He existed before the starting point. And so out of Him and only by Him all things were created…both in heaven and here on earth. And the last time I checked, “all” meant everything! So everything you see, hear, feel, smell, or taste came from your Heavenly Father. Why then, wouldn’t we want to give Him honor, praise, and adoration for what He’s done for us?
In this very well-known and often quoted Scripture, we like to gloss over the first part and instead focus on the end…the promised things God will do for us. But in doing so, we miss two small but very important words contained in this verse. The first, is how this Scripture starts, “If My people…” “If” puts the burden and responsibility squarely on our shoulders to follow through with the conditions God has placed here…namely, for us to have a radical change of heart, mind, and spirit. It is only at that time and after that is completed, (marked by the second important word, “then”) that God will forgive and heal the land. You could call these prerequisites…things God requires of us beforehand…not because He’s a mean tyrant, but because He’s a good and just God.