Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Fight God

Yes, many of us are guilty of fighting with God. We stand toe to toe with him and express are wishes and desire, even if they are contrary to His.

The reason for our combat is this part of us that is referred to as ‘free will’. When God made each of us he placed this ability into every human that has lived on earth. We have the right and privilege of making the final decision concerning our actions. God may lead us, try to persuade us, and in other ways try to sway our decision to His will but we and we only make the final decision.
After thinking about fighting with God, I have decided it is expected of us. As part of our education and forming us into the image of his Son He often allows us to choose our way. We all know that our way is best because we and we only really know the situation.

As part of confession time, I must admit of a great warrior ‘against’ the leadership of God. I rank up with such fighters as Muhammad Ali, Jesse James, and others. I have used reason and logic to argue my point with God. I have even used His word (I thought) against Him. Most of the time I write it ends up being something from my life; so here goes again.
I had felt the call to preach for a number of years and I decided that just wasn’t a place of service for me. Yes, I wanted to be close to God and to serve Him but only in a way that fit with my schedule and the rest of my life. I didn’t have time to prepare and study to be a preacher.

Excuse one was that I couldn’t speak in public. Does that sound familiar? Do you remember hearing the story of God speaking with Moses through a burning bush? God appeared to Moses in a burning bush as Moses was in the mountains tending his sheep. God told Moses that He wanted Moses to return to Egypt, to confront the Pharaoh, and get the Israelites out. To paraphrase a bit, Moses said, ‘who me? You know Lord I don’t speak clearly. Maybe you made a mistake and should pick another.’ God had a ready response by say that as they spoke Moses’ brother Aaron was on his way there and Aaron could do the speaking for Moses. Of course Moses didn’t give up with his fight against God that easily, but God was ready and had a rebuttal for every argument that Moses offered.
I did the same thing many times and I could back it up. When in high school, my poor English teacher would have to threaten me at times to get me in front of the class to give a report. I would sweat and my voice would tremble. I had much rather have been sent to the principle’ office for about 3 licks than to stand before those people. In college, I remember sitting on the instructor’s desk as I gave a report in a class. I guess it was funny looking because he laughed.

I used the argument that I was not formally educated; that one didn’t hold much water with God. I have no disagreement with formal Christian education but true spiritual knowledge and understanding comes through the Holy Spirit and not from some text book. I wish I had more formal education because it says the Spirit will call into remembrance. If it isn’t there, there is no recall. We are told to ‘study’. We must consume every bit of information we can to fill the mind.

My ‘ace in the hole’ was the argument that I had been married before which is unacceptable in many denominations. The heat was being turned up on me and I just knew that I would soon have to agree to preach but I still had my ‘ace in the hole’. One day the time came to play that ace. I stood toe to toe with God and said, ‘but your Word that a preacher is to be the husband of one wife, therefore I can’t preach.’ Just as God had a rebuttal for Moses, he did for me. He very lovingly and calmly said, ‘I know, I wrote the Book.’ The fight was over, I had fought the good fight but God won. Then my brain went to work to see if I could get the last word and sure enough I had a spectacular idea. I simply said, ‘Alright, God, I will preach but you have to provide every sermon. Wasn’t I just brilliant? Kind of silly now that I am thinking about it. Sure He would provide the sermon or in this case article. It is His Word and we are simply the instrument chosen to spread His message.

Many of God’s chosen and probably all have at one time fought with God. Consider such notables as Joshua, David, Elijah, Jonah, and Paul. Paul was at one time God’s most committed opponent. Paul was determined to put an end to these upstarts and their heretical teaching. Paul was a driven person, totally committed to the task before him. All that really happened to Paul on that Damascus road was that his task was changed. Yes Paul accepted the saving grace of God and accepted the one he had fought to erase as his savior. After a period of time of education in the truth of God’s way, Paul began just as earnestly to spread the message he had struggled to silence. Paul didn’t do this task half way. He gave God all of him, even his physical life.

If you remember I earlier said that most if not all fight against God. It makes very good sense to do so. How many of us want to make a decision with only the facts about one side of the issue? I hope most of us try to find the truth before making any decision. God is big enough to allow us to look at both sides. He keeps us in His view and will continually try to direct us along the right path. Yes, he allows us to fall at times just like a parent with a young child allows that child to fall as it learns to walk. Did you realize that child could be very late or never learn to walk if you didn’t allow him the freedom to fall?

We aren’t robots and love God and serve God because that is according to our programming and we can do nothing else. We love God and serve Him because we make that choice. We may make it with the scares of doing it our way but those are valuable reminders of God’s love and patience.

Am I finished fighting with God, probably not. I want to serve God and do as he directs but I also want my way.

Why fight God? So you can learn, experience, and mature. It isn’t the worst thing you will ever do; just as long as you final decision is to surrender to the guidance and service God. The worst thing you will ever do is to make that final decision to continue to do it your way and to reject God.

Spreading His Word,

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