Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 54: It's Your Own Darn Fault!

Jeremiah 2:33-37

New Living Translation (NLT)
33 “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers.
    Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
34 Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor,
    though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses!
35 And yet you say,
‘I have done nothing wrong.
    Surely God isn’t angry with me!’
But now I will punish you severely
    because you claim you have not sinned.
36 First here, then there—
    you flit from one ally to another asking for help.
But your new friends in Egypt will let you down,
    just as Assyria did before.
37 In despair, you will be led into exile
    with your hands on your heads,
for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust.
    They will not help you at all.


Let's face it. Sometimes life hands you crap and you are expected to make chocolate cake out of it. Ok, maybe the lemons to lemonade cliche is a more appetizing visual. But prettying things up isn't my job. If you want to know why your life is a mess, you need to look in the mirror.

Harsh? Maybe. I know that occasionally we really are victims of somebody else's actions. But most of the time we're victims of our own sheer stupidity. We all make choices in life, and those choices have consequences that are often way different than we intended. Most of the time, the consequences are minor and we don't even pay attention, until they've all piled up and suddenly explode all over us like dragon vomit or something. Here you are, just plodding through life thinking you're having a grand old time and BAM! It all falls apart. Your life goes from enjoyable to disastrous in the blink of an eye. 

I made a vow, many years ago, that if my children were to ever end up in jail, they would have to sit there and do their time. I wouldn't bail them out under any circumstances. I didn't even have kids at the time that I made that vow, but once I did, I made sure they always understood that if they screwed up, they'd be on their own. I meant it then, and I mean it now. 

I've come under a lot of criticism over the years, even by my ex-husband. Why wouldn't I help my kids if they were in trouble? What if it wasn't even their fault? How can a mother who claims to love her kids even consider leaving them stuck behind bars? Lucky for them, they never got busted for anything that would put them there.

What backwards logic our culture has taught us. Truth is, I love my kids enough to want them to learn from their mistakes. Better to spend a night in jail than to spend a lifetime on death row, get what I'm saying? And if they were just in the wrong spot at the wrong time, and were guilty by association, then the lesson they'd learn is to pick better people to hang out with. 

That's not how the world thinks, though. Not now, and not thousands of years ago either. People have always had this unbalanced view of who God is. We think that because His love is unconditional and unfailing, that it means He's a push-over, and that no matter what we do, He won't let us have any really serious consequences. It's normal to push the "love, love, love" side of God because it's more palatable. But if we're not warning people of the "just, just, just" side of God, then we're not doing them any favors.

Way back when, the prophet Jeremiah spoke at the temple in Jerusalem to a bunch of people just like you and me. 

“‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie!  Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours,  and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!”—only to go right back to all those evils again? (Jeremiah 7:8-10 NLT)

Don't be thinking that because you haven't blown someone's brains out, or committed armed robbery that you're a good person who deserves only good things. We can't be good enough to please God. That's why He gave His own son as a sacrifice... so that if we accepted Christ as our own personal Savior, we wouldn't have to spend eternity in hell. 

But even as Christians, if we're not also making Him the Lord of our lives, we may live through hell on earth. If we are living lives to please ourselves, we aren't pleasing God. And when bad things happen, we start whining and complaining about why God allowed chaos to happen. 


Next time calamity lands in your lap, quit pointing fingers at God. It's not His fault you didn't listen. It's not like He hasn't made it abundantly clear that He will only tolerate so much before He snaps. You can't treat Him as irrelevant in your life and then say "why did you let that happen, God, why didn't you warn me?"

Here's your warning. If God got so angry with the Israelites that He scattered them all over the earth and gave the Promised Land, their land, to other nations, leaving them homeless, destitute, and abandoned, do you think He's going to let you off with a slap on the wrist? No way. And when it all crashes down around you, all those friends that you think will be by your side are going to find someone new to hang with. If they don't love God, they sure won't love you. They will leave you crumpled in a heap on the floor trying to pick up the pieces of all those broken promises.

God's anger is terrifying. I know that it's politically correct to say that "fear of God" really just means "in awe of God". It does mean awe... but it also means so much more. 

Respect the laws of God, or expect the consequences. But always know that no matter how bad the consequences are, God still wants you back. All you have to do is put Him first.

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