Nov 5, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

It’s November and I hope that by now you have all of your Christmas shopping done. After all, you’ve had almost eleven months to do it!
But if you haven’t, you can join the rest of us as we go through this season during which wish lists are written as we scan the latest catalog or advertisements to see what things we want for Christmas as we ask for what we believe will really satisfy the longings in our hearts.
It is a journey, a trip, an adventure of wading through our emotions and wants and desires as we give in to lusts and desires, craving new things. We want what we want no matter what is the cost or what it will demand of our time, wallet, or our very life.
To you, who are in this mindset I say; “Be careful what you wish for.”
Oh wait; most of my audience is adults, not children. We’ve learned to think of others and think about what they want and what we can give them; keeping the focus off of our own needs.
Some of this is because we’ve (at Christmas) become focused on others, or it may simply be because we can afford to buy what we want and so our needs and wants are not met through gifts that we receive at Christmas.
This might be true for how we live our lives regarding Christmas gifts, but what about this same “childish” drive that we have during the rest of the year? How often do we push past our own roadblocks and pursue whatever we want because we are grown ups and can make our own choices; we can wish for whatever we want…and we justify what we seek because we have free will…
To you, who are in this mindset I say; “Be careful what you wish for.”
I have seen individuals, sometimes even myself, in this mindset, come to the conclusion that because we got what we wanted, therefore God must be in favor of it. After all, if God were against “it” He would have stepped in and not let us do it or have it or at least not want it; right?
To you, who are in this mindset I say; “Be careful what you wish for.”
In fact, I would submit to you that just because we are able to do what we want or be who we desire to be or wish for and get what we now have doesn’t necessarily mean that God has given us the “thumbs up” of approval for our choices.
He may, in fact, be giving us what we crave for simply because He knows that ultimately it will not satisfy us or bring us real life. And He came to bring life; real life, not some temporal imitation, and He will do what He needs to do to let us run this craving to its completed emptiness. And then ultimately back to Him to see what we missed and ask for what will really satisfy the longings in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul addresses this in his letter to the Romans; chapter one. Paul writes to let his audience know that sometimes God gives us what we want; even though it goes against what He wants, simply because He loves us and knows how foolish and darkened are hearts can be: .
Three times in Romans chapter one Paul writes that when we have this mindset of wishing for whatever we want God actually will allow us to pursue our own sinful desires. Three times Paul writes that God will give us over to our own foolishness and the darkness of our own mindsets.
Romans chapter one:
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:24-25)
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:26-27)
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28-32)
To you, who are in this mindset I say; “Be careful what you wish for.”
Where are you at today? Do you find yourself stuck in a life that has no life? Stuck with things or relationships that bring no satisfaction? Do you find yourself asking with something or someone that you wanted and realize that perhaps this may not be what God would want you to have or to do?
Let me give you some hope…this isn’t how the story has to end.
The Apostle Paul continues in His letter to explain that God has a better plan and wants better things for each one of us. Life can be different. Paul writes:
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Yes, our wishful desires may have brought us to emptiness and death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Paul writes to let each of us know that even if we have made wrong choices, wrong wish lists, we can get what we really desire. It is simpler than we make it out to be. Paul goes on to say in chapter ten that we simply need to agree with what God said to be true and to receive what He did through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and we, too, can have new life:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
It’s really your choice today; be careful what you wish for.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 20:19)
All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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