The God Game

A POSSIBLE YOU
FINDING GOD’S DESTINY FOR YOUR LIFE
PART 14
THE GOD GAME

“Receive my instruction instead of silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” (Proverbs 8:10-11)

The secret is out – “People want God to fix their problems without disturbing their life!” Have you ever wondered why we exhaust ourselves trying to take care of our issues and situations instead of asking God to help us? It is because if we ask Him to intervene, we are afraid He will want to rearrange the way we are living. So, in order to keep everything in place (like we want it), we will work around the clock trying to manage it ourselves. Our mind and old nature is actually quite subtle and sneaky concerning our denials and deceptions. We have learned how to whine and pout in order to satisfy our desires and con our way into getting what we want. Of course we hardly ever look in the mirror and see our selfish motives and attitudes but nonetheless they are there. The sad reality is that God is watching and most of the time He is disappointed. I am not trying to be intentionally negative but rather painfully honest by admitting that we have learned how to play the God game. I know it sounds sickening but that is good because in order to turn away from addictive sin, there will need to be a deep sorrow about it. This addictive sin of omission is not necessarily one particular weakness but a “general rebellion” that prevents our mind from yielding our will to God. Now wait a minute – did you hear that? Instead of reading through this quickly, I believe it would be beneficial to slowly read that last sentence again, don’t you agree?

Maybe the question we need to ask when inquiring about the price of the spiritual life is not how much it cost – but how much is it worth? Selah. When we serve our carnal nature, we are not filled with God’s Spirit nor can we walk in His holy sensitivity. Our devotion to serving our flesh automatically leads to us drifting away from our intimate fellowship with Jesus. When we discard His holiness and come to a mental agreement that this is acceptable behavior, we are officially backslidden and in a dangerous state of spiritual dysfunction. We can understand the compassion of God not wanting to lose someone on the open seas of disobedience, but what can He do when people choose to live their entire life behind a religious mask and appear to be content? The question is not whether a person “can” live in carnality while claiming to be sold out to God – but rather is this what they are trying to do? We have discussed several issues this year already and I do not know about you but I have been “pinned to the wall” by God’s truth. This theme of dealing with our flesh is very exposing and uncomfortable in many ways and to be honest I do not really like it. Changing the way we are is not a walk in the park, in fact it will require dragging our flesh, kicking and screaming all the way to the graveyard! There is nothing enjoyable about this which is exactly why there is very little preaching about it or concern. It is about REPENTENCE! But in order for anyone to have a desire to repent – they must see themselves through the eyes of God. We will never change if we use our own contaminated “court” of justification. When we examine our heart with our natural perception, we not only think we are not too bad – we actually convince ourselves that we are ok in God’s sight. This is why we cannot trust the corrupted logic of “feel good theology” but must yield to the balance and convicting truth of God’s divine reality.

The reason why we avoid repentance like the plague is because it means to TURN. This is exactly what we do not want to do. We do not mind going to church or others thinking we are a Christian, but many have made up their minds to do whatever they want. I have wondered for many years why people at church have not really been enthused with intimate worship or prayer meetings and it is because they do not like it and do not want to participate! These are the spectators that pretend to be participators. These are the individuals that can talk about God but have never really trusted Him to do anything. They play games of hide and seek with God and people while trying to balance on the tightrope of hypocrisy. They have heard about the refiner’s fire but have no intention of signing up. They have heard about renewing the mind but it was just a passing thought. Sadly, many have adopted the battle cry that everyone must accept them just the way they are. This false sense of control is actually masking our FEAR to surrender. “If you trust God in the fiery furnace the only things you will lose are the ropes that bind you.”

Let us look at gossip as another ugly sin that judges and condemns others on the basis of what they have done or what we THINK they are guilty of. It is slander to drag someone’s reputation through the mud especially if we are just repeating rumors. People make mistakes (including us) and if someone we know is involved with a current willful sin, we should pray for them, have patience and faith that He is working on their behalf and wait for God’s instructions instead of making the situation worse. The same is true with all of our bad habits and fruits of carnality, it is wonderful that we have forgiveness when we sin but it would be better to use “preventative awareness” before we sin because we represent a “holy” Kingdom? It’s like our need to exercise? We would be more likely to succeed if we asked the Lord to help us get “excited” about doing it than trying to “force” our flesh to do something we hate. It is all about attitude and if we have a sour approach to something we dread, our chances of success are small. We could continue thinking about it and talking about it and living with the daily failure of NOT succeeding – OR we could simply ask God in our prayer time to give us the desire and motivation to do it and enjoy it. We could use smoking or drinking (yes, Christians smoke and drink) as other areas that God is standing by, waiting to intervene, but unfortunately He is not called upon very often. I know a person that has been trying to quit smoking for years. They have tried everything but openly admit they are defeated and cannot break the power of desire. The doctors have said they have blocked arteries in their legs from smoking which has caused weakness, pain and many other health related problems. So, what can God do when a person knows the consequence of their problem is a direct result of their rebellion? The same is true with someone that is obese and having many health issues simply because they refuse to stop gorging themselves. Can we just believe that God will take care of all the bad and damaging things no matter what we do in this life? Do we not believe there are consequences to our actions and judgments for our deeds? Are we so naïve as to think that life will not require a dedication to self-discipline?

Again, I can see where the lost do not understand spiritual principals but what about Christians that want to do great things for God and to be put in high positions of spiritual authority but have no thoughts about incorporating self-control over their flesh. I understand that independent, self-reliant people would rather go through programs, patches and hypnotism rather than to sincerely ask God to empower them but Christians are supposed to be DEPENDENT on God. The reasons are always the same and it is usually found that most people have NOT come to the point where they are really concerned enough to trust God to change their lifestyle. We are surrounded with the talk of having a “personal” relationship with God, yet have never considered that it is actually the key to us being the overcomer that He wants us to be. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs: 3:5, 6) In EVERY weakness or circumstance, we can ask Him to give us a clear view of the situation and with His help we can conquer whatever problem that is trying to hinder us. If we know this is true and yet still refuse to incorporate these principals into our spiritual life, we have openly declared that we do NOT want to sacrifice the energy it will take to work with God for the victory. Our actions will speak louder than our words that clearly we intend to continue being comfortable in the direction we are going MORE than becoming serious about changing into His image. And we may avoid the issue but – we are saying that we are willing to receive His chastisement and punishment for our disobedience! How do you think God responds to this attitude?

Finances are another area that most everyone thinks about because it directly involves what we have and what we can do. It is common to talk about being debt free and it is a worthy thought but thinking that money is going to fall out of heaven is stretching the faith concept into a distorted view. Do not misunderstand me, God does give financial gifts and super-natural miracles according to His purposes but in general He gives us the faith and wisdom to “manage” what He has already given. In this stewardship responsibility, we learn how to spend and invest so that He can BLESS our finances and prosper us. Here again, we see Him walking with us every step of the way trying to help us make good decisions and speaking to our heart about giving to others so that He can multiply our wealth. However, we cannot expect for Him to make us rich and financially independent instantaneously. It is through OBEDIENCE that we learn, grow and develop maturity and wisdom. People play the lottery and dream about being rich, and promise to God that if they had the resources they would endlessly help those in need but allow me to say that if you are not giving to others NOW and have not “developed” a generous attitude about wealth NOW – you would not automatically be sensitive to the Holy Spirit about giving – even if you did find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If we would spend as much time praying about GIVING instead of complaining, day-dreaming, being sad, jealous and bitter about our needs, we would have a much clearer perspective to stand back and see the big picture of how God wants us to serve within HIS thoughts and plans. Selah.

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