Along the journey of life, God does not leave us in the dark as to what part of our walk or labour is not pleasing to Him. His desire is for us to receive the ultimate prize.
When Our Hearts Begin to Get Weak
Our hearts are often discouraged by the barrage of Satan’s insinuations that we are only wasting our time. He begins to show us why we are better off when we forsake the ways of God and walk according to our wisdom and worldly trends. Then we begin to labour according to his suggestions, because we are looking for people and things that will soothe our weary hearts.
But all the while, God looks down from Heaven and, in His mercy, brings us back to the point where we missed it. Sometimes, He rebukes us sharply so that our hearts will see the seriousness of our folly. Other times, He shows us a glimpse of the reward so that our hearts may be encouraged.
Take heart, soldier. Your General walks ahead of you in this gruesome battle. He will teach your hands to fight and hold it up when they’re weary. He will reveal the stratagems of the devil when he comes with his alluring words. He will not abandon us. He will not leave us in our error.
The Constant Pleadings of the Holy Spirit
Will you not consider this today? That the constant pleadings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts are because we are straying away from His path? That the rebukes of the LORD are because we find joy and pleasure in our recalcitrance?
He will not fold His hands while Satan buffers us until we are destroyed. He will not allow us to continue in the folly of dead religion. Nay – He will call our attention to it. He will reveal our folly to us, so that we may not miss the place He has prepared for us.
How often do we allow Him to do this? Many of us seek to silence His voice by our constant rebuttals. We grow weary of His cries. We, like the Israelites, stiffen our necks and persist in our obstinacy. When the LORD spoke to the Israelites, “Execute true judgment and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” Zec. 7:7-9.
The Painful Had-I-Knowns
Is it a wonder that many of us, like Cain, offer sacrifices that God is not pleased with? Many of us will labour above our contemporaries, only for our work to be burned up on the day of Judgement. Some will run the race till the end, but will not receive any prize because they did not run according to the rules. They did not heed the constant warnings when they ran out of their lane.
“Why have we fasted, and you see it not?”, the Israelites cried out in frustration. “Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?”. To their complaints, God replied, ” Because, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure…” Isa. 58:3. They knew the will of God, but stubbornly forsook it and went their own way. Is this not what many of us to today?
The LORD may lead us in the paths of humiliation, but we account ourselves too big to tread that path because we are willing to save our face and our name. He may ask us to confess before people about the wrongs we did, but we nudge it off and continue instead, hoping that we will please Him by some other means.
Will you be able to bear it, dear pilgrim, for your meritorious labour on earth to be burnt up on the Judgment day because it does not meet God’s specifications? Will you suffer all manner of persecutions for nothing because you were willing to do God’s will “your way”? Think!