Between heaven and hell, a thank you
What does sin try and do? Sin tries to take the fun from life. First, he tries to tell you a lie by saying he knows where the real fun in life can be found, but before you know it, you have more problems than anything else. Or he tries to tie you up with rules and regulations of you may not do this and you may not do that. Yes, at first that side looks better, easier, but unfortunately, soon you’re dragging a big load of baggage along.
A friend of ours struggled a lot – she didn’t know where in life she fitted in. Then she discovered a lot of joy, or so she thought. There were late nights and many friends. Lots of fun with fellow models and even a part in an international movie.
But there were moments when she was alone, when she wondered whether this was the right road. Was this really what life was about? As I sit here now, she is in a rehabilitation centre for drug addiction. O, how terrible it is. And we didn’t see what was happening right before our eyes – probably because one doesn’t want to. But that is what they do. Slowly but surely, you’re pulled in and before you know it, they have you and you’re caught up and can’t get out. Then you’re a prisoner, your freedom – God’s freedom – taken away.
There are ruthless people out there. People who don’t care if they have to sell someone else’s soul. They are not afraid to die. They step on everything with their giant boots – even people’s hearts.
Maybe you’re telling yourself you won’t allow it; evil won’t trick you like that. Don’t be so sure. He comes with his cunning plans and tries to steal God’s freedom from you.
Let’s take a simple example. Thirty years ago, women weren’t allowed to go to church unless they were wearing hats. It was a matter of life and death as church councils all over the country debated for hours and hours to decide on the sinfulness of a head without a hat! Eish, how can we allow God’s freedom to be taken away from us, even in church!
Maybe it is a good idea to go and sit on a rock somewhere sometime to think carefully about what we believe and the little habits we’ve taught ourselves. Do they free us, or do they bind us?
To prevent us being deceived, we must live a life where we tell ourselves all the time: God made everything. God is the Creator. Everything that God has made has great value.
Who am I to take control of it and decide who may and who may not? Maybe we’re struggling with life because we’re not seeing everything from the right perspective.
Therefore, this excellent proposal: Thank God for everything. For everything you do, thank God for it. Then you quickly realise where it comes from and what its value is. Then, when you don’t thank God for it, you will know something is not right. Maybe it’s not a God-given gift, but a manmade thing, and when man has something to do with the thing, chances are something will be derailing somewhere.
Make a point of thanking God every moment for everything you have around you. He did create everything and all glory belongs to Him. Therefore, you must give thanks to Him in everything you do, and live it too. When you encounter something that you struggle to say thank you for, you must stop immediately and make sure it’s from God, and not from you.
4… Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out.
Is there something that obstructs God’s freedom in your life?
For what do you have to thank God?
Is there something that makes you doubt you are moving within God’s will now?
Lord, thank you for teaching me today to be grateful for all I receive from You. And when I notice something in my life that makes me doubt whether it comes from You, please help me to let it go. Amen.