Thursday, June 1, 2017

When God Wasn't Pleased

It's been around 50 years since John E. Hunter wrote a book called LIMITING GOD.  After its release, Moody Monthly wrote about the book in their monthly magazine, "Moody Monthly."  Here is the quote:"

"A probing discussion of problems in Christian living which can become spiritual nooses choking a vital Christian life.  Some of these are unbelief, fear, disobedience, selfishness, pride and ignorance.  Read it for a revealing X-ray of your impotent Christian life. Along with spiritual diagnosis, a scriptural remedy is prescribed."

There is one chapter in Hunter's book which I have gone back to read several times.  If there is an act we do, or neglect to do, that actually limits God, the chapter about disobedience sends us clear evidence.  He begins with quoting the scriptures found in 1 Corinthians 10 where Paul is reminding his readers about the children of Israel in the wilderness.  "For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

We talk about unity in our churches, and do everything we can to practice unity, however the people Paul is describing are the picture of unity.  Read the verses again with special notation to Paul's use of the word "all."  Church leaders today would love to have such unity as described in those four verses.  

Then we come to verse 5....." 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them."

God was not pleased in spite of their unity and correctness of their spiritual experience.  Let's pay attention to this united band of followers of God, and see how the problems which plagued them are the problems which plague us today.  Problem number 1...Although united in spiritual things, they were guilty of wandering and complaining.  Sound familiar?   Problem number 2....The situation which caused God to be displeased with their lives was their personal disobedience.

Like us, the people Paul was describing from the wilderness days, spoke of how much they loved God and wanted to serve him, however they were guilty of idolatry.  What they needed more than anything else was repentance.  Joshua's pleadings with them were simple.  "Put away the strange gods which are among you and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel."

The message for us is to learn the same thing they were taught by Joshua.  If we are really inclined to be the children of God, we must come to him with the penitent heart, determined to be obedient his will.  This is why Paul, in writing to these Corinthians stated, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new."


No comments:

Post a Comment