“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The effect without a cause (sic)

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” (Prov. 26:2,3).

The curse causeless shall not come. There is a reason for the troubles that come our way. There is no avoiding cause and effect. This is the simple truth of God’s creation. He built into every one of His great creations the law of cause and effect. Cause always leads to effect; nothing happens without a cause. Nothing is generated spontaneously; nothing comes into being out of thin air.

If we want to understand how something works, we can trust that the rules don’t change in the middle of our investigation. The rules are consistent; they always apply. That’s good news. There could be nothing worse than getting down to the verge of understanding a system, then Surprise! The rules changed and you have to start all over giving obeisance to two sets of rules! You took years to understand the first set of rules, and now you have to learn another.

The moral laws are as immutable as the mental and physical laws. Every law of nature affects us. To break the moral laws are as destructive to us as breaking the laws of physics. The need for grace is as unbreakable as the need for gravity; the law of integrity as unbendable as the law of inertia. The laws of health apply now and forever, just as much as do vehicular laws.

God allows us to break His moral laws, just so that we can know that they stand fast forever. We test them all the time, and discover that we cannot dismiss them. And the Lord is OK with this, for a while. But, eventually if we continue in sin, He must let us feel the pain. That’s when the troubles start.

We have the bad habit of giving people supernatural powers who are successful at obedience to God’s laws. Like they are Gods, like they never had any weaknesses. We don’t know the effort and struggles that they experienced while striving for obedience. So we assume that a period of up and down never occurred. We think they were born with a “supernatural health” gene, or a supernatural talent, intellect, unperverted appetite, or spirituality. They are nice to have around, but only as token gifts from a distant utopia somewhere. We appreciate their beauty and strength and aspiration and inspiration, but it does little for our motivation to follow suit.

We assume he was born with an especially large heart and lungs; yes, that’s why he wins all the races! (He never went to practice). She was born a genius (she never had to practice days on end); that’s why she plays the piano at the Kennedy Center. He has the “smart” gene; that’s why he’s a brainiac (he doesn’t have to study). She has the “skinny” gene, that’s why she’s age 50 and turning grey, but still looks 25 and stunning (she doesn’t have to curb her appetites).

Someone once cornered me and asked about my slender build. The person referred to my mother who was a small-framed person, and said that could explain my fitness. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, later I realized why the strange conversation happened. The person asking was a large person, and needed a reason to excuse the problem. If I had realized this I would have given the more accurate, bigger picture. My five siblings were all small framed like myself when we were kids, some skinnier than I was (my father had been a beanpole up into his twenties). But, now in our fifties, all my siblings (and our father) are over-weight. That’s because they didn’t learn about the health message like I did. Nor the gospel.

But, even obesity can be a blessing from the Lord. He always turns bad things into good. Good can come out of it for everyone who will admit his fault and turn away from it. Jesus will assist anyone who does this, even if it isn’t a full-fledge repentance. He will inspire such a person with all the good reasons and will-power to obey His Father’s laws. He will never do for him; but, He will always do in him.

A friend of mine just lost 75 pounds of extra blessings, not by surgery, but by exercise. She looks amazingly so much younger than when she was heavier! Hopefully, when such people see the benefits of obedience to physical laws, they will logically realize the great blessings in store for obedience to their Father’s moral laws, and find Him. “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11).

God will allow us go for a long time disobeying Him. He must let us go as long as we want to. He must. We are free moral agents; He made us that way. But, in our troubles and travesties, we must also choose to look up and admit, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:27, 28).

“Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” (Job 33:24). “He shall pray unto God, and He will be favourable unto him: and he shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man his righteousness.” (Job 33:26). “His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth” (Job 33:25). Just about every disease and unhealthy condition is reversible. Even cancer. And then, those survivors are happy witnesses of the dangers of disobedience to the laws of the Creator. “Fear God and give Him glory! For the hour of His judgment on your body will surely come!”

God has a strong stance toward our disobedience because He must keep the rest of His unfallen kingdom safe from sin and beyond any other future great controversies. He will let the wages of sin be death. He cannot alter the constitution of His eternal kingdom. Life must require obedience; death must attend all disobedience.

But, God isn’t an ogre who says, “If your hedonism makes you hell-bent, then so be it.” He doesn’t say, “If you want to drug yourself into oblivion, go right ahead.” “If you want to smoke your lungs into Swiss cheese, I could care less.” And certainly, Satan preaches those sermons in everyone’s ears. When disease ransacks their body, mind, and soul, then he leads them to blame God.

No, the Father does care, but He cannot lower the standard. He cannot tailor the laws of His immense kingdom to our perverted natures on miniscule planet Earth. He cannot be gracious toward any insolence toward His Law. He must hold the difficult place of infinite Judge. The Law can never change. It is not organic; it is not situational; it is immutable. Never murder! Never steal! Never commit fornication! Never lie! Never covet! Always reverence your parents! Forever keep My Sabbath holy! “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1Pet. 2:17). Your created human body is My rightful temple! He that sins against his body I will destroy in the end. “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2).

But, we can find comfort in His forbearance. Our Father gives us time to figure out our dilemmas. He makes it very simple, in that His laws never change. He also sends us His agents. We bump into friends and strangers who can teach us what He could have taught us if we had been able to trust His wisdom. And He is very nice about this. Have you ever had to leave it up to another person to explain something or give help to someone you know because they didn’t trust your explanation? It’s very humbling and disappointing. Obviously, a rift had occurred that you didn’t know existed until that moment.

I needed to teach my wife to drive our clutch pick-up truck. We didn’t have another vehicle and she had only learned to drive with an automatic transmission car. So, I patiently tried and tried to teach her, but she couldn’t learn. Then, my supervisor offered to teach her. She learned in two hours from him what I couldn’t teach her in two weeks. She had a mental block toward me. I represented a threat or someone untrustworthy or in some way unworthy of her. She couldn’t bring herself to try to learn from me. We had a personality conflict in a way I didn’t realize. I must not have been the perfect husband, protector, and provider. I needed to address this in myself and to fix it. God has been very gracious by showing me this and giving me time to work it out in my character.

Jesus has gone through the same with me. He could much more quickly and easily speak directly into my conscience. That is the way He originally intended my development. But, that method rarely works because sin has blunted my spiritual perceptions. He and I have a rift, as sad as it is to say it, and I can’t trust His wisdom. Yet He, not put away, though His feelings hurt, sends many others of my own make and model to declare the lessons they learned from the same disobedience that I’m suffering under. They tell me that they are so much better off after changing their minds to obey the Law instead of continuing in disobedience. I am inspired by them to do what I’ve been fighting Jesus about. He ever so graciously blesses my every effort in obedience, even though I jilted Him every time He tried to teach me.

His laws never change and His forbearance is everlasting.

“Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” (2Cor. 2:14).

“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:57). 

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift.” (2Cor. 9:15).


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