Last week, I went to camp with some of the teens of the church. On the way there, we passed through a town named Giddings, Texas. Now, I’m sure Giddings is a wonderful town, full of wonderful people. My reason for mentioning Giddings is that many years ago, God sent me there on a mission. The interesting thing about that mission is that it was one I didn’t want to go on.
Have you ever been asked by God to do something you didn’t want to do?
When you don’t want to do what God is directing you to do, how do you decide what action you are going to take?
Some might say, “Well, that’s easy. You do what God says because He is God and if you don’t, He will get mad at you!”
Well, in my experience – refusing to do what God tells you to do rarely causes an instant backlash against you. Now, don’t get me wrong – some choices have immediate, visible consequences. But, others don’t…….Many don’t. Many people realize this and therefore decide to do what they want to do if it clashes with God’s direction.
Many people simply don’t trust God enough to obey Him when His direction is contrary to what they want. There could be many reasons for this lack of trust but our disobedience still boils down to this fact:
If we don’t obey God, it is because we don’t know Him.
Getting to know someone is a relational priority. It requires the actions of two people. God must have the desire to know us and we must have the desire to know Him. When the desire is there, it is usually followed by action that facilitates relationship building.
Ok, a little rabbit trail……Now back to what God wants versus what we want!
Police have what they call “victimless crimes”. These are crimes committed in which nothing is taken from someone else or in which no one is hurt. But, in life, there is no such thing as a “victimless crime”.
When you choose to directly disobey God, you always sin against yourself. You do damage to your character. The more you disobey God, the “easier” it gets for you to ignore His commands. Soon, you have created a lifestyle of “doing your own thing”. In such a life, Jesus is neither Lord nor Savior.
Another thing that happens when you choose to disobey God is that you refuse the relational growth that trust in God can bring. The outcome of failing to trust God is seen in a thousand different character flaws:
Cynicism, criticism, gossip, slander, ridicule, joking at other’s expense, a lack of empathy, failure to assist others, etc.
God will dig out relational pain others have caused you and heal it through your relationship with Him. If you refuse to trust Him, your “relational well” is clogged with garbage from painful relationships and is polluted by self serving character flaws.
I know that it is hard to trust God when you have not been able to trust others. But, you must start somewhere and God’s love is pure and unselfish and has the ability to heal you and release you from the character flaws accumulated through a lack of faith.
I’m so glad that I went to Giddings years ago when I didn’t want to. Once there, I did what God wanted me to do. Doing so worked toward clearing the relational garbage from my life and created within me a trust that began to purify my heart.
“Going to Giddings” may not represent your choice to obey God or not to obey God. Whatever the circumstances, don’t sin against your own character. The consequences may not include God “squashing you like a bug” but will include the accumulation of a set of character flaws that will effect you negatively in a thousand different ways and lead to a future where prospects for joy and peace are “slim and none”.
Love yourself today by loving God and putting His will first.