My friend, may I ask you a question? In our relationship with God do we often confuse His sovereignty with our duty? It’s for that reason they we often easily become despaired of God when we place our trust in our own judgment over His? How dangerous is it when we mix our duties with His control over events?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Shopping recently at a local hardware store I bumped into a guy shopping for “No Trespassing” signs. As I parked myself across the aisle from him I couldn’t help but notice the concerned look on his face as he examined each sign he picked up. “Having problems with the neighbors?” I offered with a friendly chuckle. He held up one last sign and, with- out turning to look at me he spit out the words like hot soup. “Well, who CAN you trust these days?” It was deer hunting season and he was concerned, as it turns out, with poaching on his property. We chatted for a while. He told me about how even with the signs up he had to post additional warnings every year. Last year it was a number of “This Means You!” handmade, signs to accompany the yellow and black No Trespassing ones. He shook his head and picked two of the yellow signs up, slapping them against his thigh in frustration. “They just rip them down anyway. I don’t know why I even bother!”
It’s often like that with our relationship with God as well. It’s easy to become despaired of God when we place our trust in our own judgment over His.
Here’s a thought from Sam Rutherford: “Duties belong to us, events are God’s; when we take our faith on a path to meddle with events, and then hold God accountable for whatever happens, it’s like saying to God, ‘So God, is that how you really wanted it to turn out?’ We are treading on very, lose ground; we have no business being there as it is our duty to let God exercise His office without our interference or advice, and to steer things as He see fit to do so; there is no role or possibility here for us, except to see how we did our duty and that is that.” [(adapted) Samuel Rutherford 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, p. 106]
Mistrust is one thing. I couldn’t blame that guy shopping for the signs for that. His problem seemed more despair as opposed to trust, however. Maybe if he tried a kinder and gentler approach to signage, I thought, he might get better results? It was his duty to post the signs. People can be expected to try to break the rules. The likelihood of compliance, however, probably had everything to do with his misplaced trust in the signs. I think that God wants us to trust no one, but never despair of anyone. Our duty is to always try to do the right thing and then trust God to take our right actions and turn them into something that works for Him. Reminding people of the rules is everyone’s duty. God expects that of us. However, it’s God’s role to turn our reminders into His events of conscience. We can do no more than this, our duty, and He will do no less than this, turning our duty into life changing opportunities.
We pray. Dear Father, You have given us duties as Christians to do Your will, serve one another, worship you and love You with all of our hearts, souls and minds. These are the duties but not the abilities we have to control the events in our lives. That is Your domain and not ours. How often do we find ourselves Lord thinking that we control our lives. Forgive us when we think that even for a moment. The events in our lives are ordained by You, even before the beginning of time. We have no control whatsoever, only the responsibility to do our duties as You have given them to us. We praise You for not giving us control but keeping it for Yourself. Help us Lord to know the duties that You have given us. Remind us daily of our responsibilities and help us to trust Your eternal judgment to ordain what You have ordained. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.