July 5, 2013

Do Not Attempt

Do you ever wish that life events had labels on them? Like a "Do Not Attempt" label. That friendship that caused you a million issues? Before you entered in, don't you wish life warned you? Don't you wish it told you 'do not attempt'? That relationship with that boyfriend or girlfriend you had? If they weren't your guy or girl, don't you wish that relationship had a 'do not attempt' label?

Not eating your vegetables. Do Not Attempt.
Eating an undercooked burger. Do Not Attempt.
Watching that one video. Do Not Attempt.
Breaking that rule. Do Not Attempt.
Rationalizing. Do Not Attempt.
Relying on your own judgment. Do Not Attempt.
Picking a Fight. Do Not Attempt.
Watching that R rated movie. Do Not Attempt.
Meeting that guy/girl. Do Not Attempt.
Applying for that job. Do Not Attempt.
Hanging out around drugs and alcohol. Do Not Attempt.
Smoking just this once. Do Not Attempt.
Getting drunk. Do Not Attempt.
Having sex before marriage. Do Not Attempt.
Pledging your life to this person. Do Not Attempt.
Walking away from God. Do Not Attempt.

Personally, I wish that my faith was like that sometimes. Do Not Attempt those things that will bring you farther from God. It would make free will and those choices so much easier, don't you think? If only God put those labels up, right? Sometimes I think that way and then I have to stop myself. Let's think about why God doesn't do that for us.

First off, that attitude isn't exactly a 'put God first' attitude. All it would be doing is making our lives easier. That's a 'me' attitude if I ever saw one. How can God make my life easier? Sure, it would be nice if God told us what to do, but He already does in a way! His word. The more time we spend with Him, the clearer those choices will be. The more time we spend with Him the more our hearts will be transformed. I'm convicted in this as much as some of you, and it's something I need to work on. Secondly, how else are we going to grow in the Spirit? If answers to our questions were provided, we wouldn't have to pray for guidance. Like me, I know some of you turn to the Lord when you have hardship in your life and not as much when everything is going well. Not that you or I don't ever praise Him in the good moments, but it is common. With all the answers, we wouldn't have guilt or unnecessary pain because it would be easy to make the right choice. But, isn't that how God teaches us sometimes? Isn't learning the hard way how He has to send a message to us sometimes? Yes. 

So, the more I think about having all the answers, the more I think about how easy life would be and how many growing opportunities would escape us. I can't speak for you, but even though I would like to get everything right, I would not want to give up my opportunities to grow in the Lord. So, instead of wishing for obvious, physical 'Do Not Attempt' labels, we should look for those labels in His Word. They are there, you just have to look for them and heed their warnings. It's always a learning process.

"The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward."
-Psalm 19:10-11
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
-Proverbs 1:7

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