God Is Paying Attention
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Psalm 10:13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
In 1982, “ABC Evening News” reported on an unusual work of modern art: a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was the kind of art that demanded audience participation to appreciate. People were allowed to sit in the chair for 60 seconds and look directly into the gun barrel. Doesn’t sound too scary yet, does it? But the gun was loaded and the trigger was set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment sometime within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell’s path! They all knew that the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn’t happen during their minute in the chair.
Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn’t dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction and the guaranteed judgment of God comes upon them.
It’s a fact of our sinful human nature that we become complacent about sin when there are no impending consequences. If we don’t get caught, then we gain courage to take the risk again. When the fear of being caught is removed, then we think we are free to redefine the behavior as right because it pleases self.
Just watch children. When they don’t experience negative consequences to behavior, they immediately believe that the behavior is acceptable. When the leadership of the home is inconsistent then children become confused about right and wrong and do not learn the skill of making wise and moral choices. They become self-serving. That’s when the parents call for Super Nanny. They can’t understand how their children got this bad, and they have no idea how to fix them. But Super Nanny’s solutions are simple: build consistent family structure and enforce consequences. When children are placed under loving and just authority, they thrive.
You and I will also thrive when we willingly and humbly place ourselves under the loving and just authority of God. It is time for us to be honest about the areas of sin in our lives that we currently believe we are getting away with. Satan has deceived many of us into believing that God will not call us to account for our behavior and our choices. But He will and He does. He is a just, righteous, and holy God. He is paying attention.
Here’s a novel idea: because we know that God will discipline us for our sin because it is the expression of His vast love for our well-being, we should be asking Him every day to discipline us for our sin. Read carefully these words from Hebrews chapter 12 –
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Only the wicked claim there are no consequences for sin. Only the fool says there is no God who is paying attention and stares down the barrel of a loaded gun.
But we who believe in Christ, and know the nature of the Father’s love, understand that we will thrive in a harvest of righteousness and peace when we submit to the daily discipline of God to destroy the power of sin and develop the character of Christ in us. Only through the surrender of self and the constant filling of the Holy Spirit of God will we experience victory.
So as a part of your daily devotional and prayer life, add this element – ask God to reveal your sin to you and submit to the Holy Spirit. Take your eyes off of what others have done, and for sure don’t ask God to fix them so you can be better. Allow Him to do whatever is necessary to correct your sin. You will begin to experience the joy of knowing that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. The discipline that God brings into our lives today is a wonderful and fulfilling indication that we are truly loved by Him as our Heavenly Father and will spend eternity in His presence.