Judgement on Us?

24 05 2011

I quite often, on one of my other blogs, get questions about God’s judgement.  For some reason that has been near the front of my thoughts recently. Most of the time people think of God’s judgement as Him bringing catastrophes upon people and killing them.  That actually, in Scripture, seems to be a ‘last resort’ thing that He does; He only does it when He sees that that person or those people are set in their ways and are never going to change by His more gentle discipline. That, I conclude, is God’s objective though, with most people – to discipline or train or bring about  purposefully, changes in behaviour. He wants us to enter into the fullness of what He has for us, but so often sin gets in the way and prevents that goodness flowing into our lives.  Thus He brings discipline to bring about a change of behaviour so that our new behaviour will be open to Him bringing His goodness to us.

But it’s the way He sometimes disciplines us, and what has been challenging me is the thought that sometimes His discipline is in the form of giving us what we want!  He comes to us and He finds that we have our hearts set on some particular course of action or way of life. He tries to speak to us to warn us that that is not the best thing for us but we are so set on it (and indeed our own will) that we are deaf to His words.

This is where it gets nasty: He gives us what we want! The result? It becomes a burden to us, it wears us down. I have watched one young man of great ability desiring to get on in business and reasoning out his path – and God has let him! So he got a new job, a bigger and better one, only a year later to realise that if he had stayed where he was he would now be better off. God is teaching Him to learn to listen to God’s will and be content with what he has. Then God will bless him with abundance.

I have watched another man demand leadership and demand a certain style of church. His demands were unrighteous in the way they came and so, set in his ways, God gave them to him, and now they are like a millstone round his neck. He now struggles to cope and to justify his actions, but the truth is he is struggling and will continue to do so until he realises the truth – God knows best.

I know another who criticised church leadership and declared it was authoritarian. His years of ongoing criticism were rewarded by God by giving him the leadership he wanted but now he is authoritarian and people fear him.  There is this expression, isn’t there, “What goes around, comes around.” What we try and dump on others, God brings round and dumps it on us, to teach and train us.  Is He being unkind?  No, He is simply disciplining us to bring us to our senses, so that we see the truth.

Then there is the one who has been yearning for riches and so God gave it to him and now he is too busy administering it and making more to enjoy life and his spiritual life is withered.  One day he will come to his senses and realise that wealth is not THE all important thing, but a relationship with God. It will happen but it will take time.

The fearful thing about all this, is that I wonder if I am set in my ways, in my directions, in my wants, so that God will give me what I want and not what is best until I come to my senses. I hope not.  The heart is so deceitful. I desire to be open to the Lord and have asked for His help, so I must trust I will be open to Him and His will, for that is best.  How many of us in today’s individualistic world are doing our own thing and are mistaking God’s discipline for His approval? The comforting thought is that He still loves us even if we are self-willed. But that means He WILL do something about our self-will rather than not do anything about it. He will act against it, BECAUSE He loves us. Oooops!

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