Stop playing games with God
Do you wear a mask everyday as you leave your home for the office, for school, for the supermarket? Everyday, we play games with one another under a mask as we do not let people know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us that they won’t like. We can fool the world but we cannot hide from God.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from the Lord. In Genesis 3:10 Adam said: “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” Our natural response is fear when we are disobedient, because we feel we can’t live up to His standards. But understanding that He loves us, regardless of our faults can help remove that dread. God’s commands are for our good, but we may not understand the reasons, behind them. People who trust God will obey because God asks them to whether or not they understand why God commands it. When God confronted Adam, he blamed Eve who blamed the serpent. But God knows the truth, and He holds us responsible for what we do.
Admit your wrong attitudes and actions and apologize to God. Don’t try to get away with sin by blaming someone else.
When Tamar revealed she was pregnant, Judah moved to have her killed. (Genesis 38). Judah had concealed his own sin of getting her pregnant. Often the sins we try to cover up are the ones that anger us most when we see them in others. If you become indignant at the sins of others, you may have a similar tendency to sin that you don’t wish to face. When we admit our sins and ask God to forgive us, forgiving others also become easier.
When Joshua first went against Ai (Joshua 7) he did not consult the Lord but relied on the strength of his army to defeat the small city. Only after Israel was defeated did they turn to God and ask what happened. And Joshua said, “Ah Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us in the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? .. O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?” Too often we rely on our own skills and strength when the task before us seems easy. We go to God only when the obstacles seem too great. However, only God knows what lies ahead. Consulting him, even when we are on a winning streak, may save us from grave mistakes or misjudgments. God may then want us to learn lessons, remove pride, or consult others before he will work through us.
Bathsheba knew it was wrong to commit adultery, but to refuse a king’s request could mean punishment or death.(2 Samuel 11 &12) Joab did not know why Uriah had to die, but it was obvious the king wanted him killed. David ‘s response to Uriah’s death was flippant and insensitive. He showed no grief for Uriah. Why? Because David had become callous to his own sin. The only way he could cover up his first sin of adultery, was to sin again, and soon he no longer felt guilty for what he had done. Feelings are not reliable guides for determining right and wrong. Deliberate repeated sinning had dulled David’s sensitivity to God’s laws and other’s rights. The more you try to cover up, the more insensitive you become toward it. Don’ t become hardened to sin, as David did. Confess your wrong actions to God before you forget they are sins. It was a year later and David had become so insensitive that he did not realize he was the villain in Nathan’s story. The qualities we condemn in others are often our own character flaws. Which friends, associates or family members do you find easy to criticize and hard to accept? Instead of trying to change them, ask God to help you understand their feelings and see your own flaws more clearly. You may discover that in condemning others, you have been condemning yourself. David later repented of his sin but the consequences were irreversible. Sometimes an apology is not enough. When God forgives us and restores our relationship with him, he does not eliminate all the consequences of our wrong-doing. We may be tempted to say “If this is wrong, I can always apologize to God.” But we must remember that we may set into motion events with irreversible consequences. Why did his child have to die? It was not a judgment on the child but on David for his sin. God still had work for David to do in building the kingdom. Perhaps the child’s death was a greater punishment for David than his own death would have been. While God forgave David, He did not negate all its consequences.
The sin of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) was not stinginess or holding back part of the money. Their sin was lying to God and God’s people – saying they gave the whole amount but holding back some for themselves and trying to make themselves more generous than they really were. This act was judged harshly because dishonesty, greed and covetousness are destructive in a church, preventing the Holy Spirit from working effectively. All lying is bad, but when we lie to try to deceive God and his people about our relationship with him, we destroy our testimony about Christ. God’s judgment on Ananias and Sapphira produced shockwaves and fear among the believers, making them realize how seriously God regards sin in the church.
God is omnipotent – he is present everywhere. Because this is so, you can never be lost to His Spirit. This is good news to those who know and love God, because no matter what we do or where we go, we can never be far from God’s comforting presence. However, you cannot run from God if you play games with Him.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?