So often we ask God for good things, and we wonder why there is still troubles in our lives. Before I continue, I just want to say that what I am about to write, doesn’t take away from the grace of God. I am a believer that God’s grace is enough for us, and I believe that all the power and authority that we have comes from Him. I believe that when you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved. No amount of works can earn this. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that we do not need works. Doing the ‘works’ can often keep troubles out of our lives. Does this mean that God rewards us for living good lives? No. It means that God has told us how to live in order to receive the good things that he has already provided.
This would indicate that there is something that we can do to protect ourselves from temptations and troubles. Yes, take a look at Romans 16:19-20, which says, “Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” This means that we should learn what is good, study it, practice it. Become wise in what is good. It says that we should be innocent about what is evil. Innocent means that you didn’t do it. Don’t do what is evil, have nothing to do with it. So often we flirt with it, we know that it is wrong, but a little doesn’t hurt. Does it? It does. If we are wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil, the God of peace will soon crush satan under our feet!
We are called to be ‘slaves of obedience (to God’s Word)’. Now the word ‘slaves’ brings up negative connotations, but Paul used the word as people understood what he was talking about. Being a slave indicates that you don’t really have a choice, it indicates a state of mind. You should be obedient to the point of not actually giving yourself a choice. Have a look at this verse. Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” You are going to be a slave to something, it can either be sin or obedience to God’s Word. If you think that you are not a slave to either, you are only kidding yourself. Just because you don’t acknowledge that you are a slave to sin, doesn’t mean that you are not. Think about it.
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Yes, we need to resist the devil. It is an active response, which some of us (believers) embrace and do, however there is more to it than that. We need to submit ourselves to God and His Word. Do we do that? I mean do we actually do that? Grace-preachers (of which I am one) can often neglect our responsibility. We need to submit ourselves to God’s Word and resist the devil, in order to get him to flee. If we don’t do this, we open ourselves up to all sorts of sin, temptations, troubles, illnesses and hardships. Asking God to remove those, without submitting to His Word is probably not going to bring results. He has told us how to overcome them, it is now a case of doing it.
Does this mean that if we live Godly lives we will never face issues? I didn’t say that. I am merely saying that we invite (al-be-it unwillingly) some of the issues into our lives, and then we pray to God to remove them. God has given us the tools to remove them ourselves. Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, the solution has already been provided! Use it! People often look at the fact that Paul was persecuted so much and that all the disciples (except for John) were martyred, to justify our suffering. Most of the suffering that we experience is not persecution, it is stuff that we have let into our lives by our lifestyle. Even if (or when) we get things thrown at us (not necessarily our fault), how do we react? Do we stick the the Word of God, do we remain faithful to Him? Or do we lose the plot and start to accept the problems? I am not condemning you (that is the devil’s job), I am letting you know the way out. I am still learning this myself, but what kind of person would I be if I kept this good news to myself?
I know that there are often issues in life that are difficult to explain, and deal with. I am not saying that these are your fault or that there is a simple solution to them. I am just saying that we do bring in some issues ourselves, which are unnecessary. Please take this from a position of me trying to help others overcome their issues, and not of condemnation. I have no intention of doing the devil’s work.
Take a stand. Stand on the Word of God.