- What’s the use in being obedient? The disobedient are prospering!
- God must be angry with me; look at all the problems I’m facing today!
- With a thought life like mine, God can’t really love me!
- This disease must be payback from God for all the stuff I did when I was young!
- If I put more money in the collection plate, God will put more money in my paycheck!
The list of crippling conclusions is virtually endless. Each one represents an overwhelming obstacle to our walk with Christ. They obstruct our view of God’s omnipotent holiness, goodness, and kindness and make Him out to be a monster, exacting His pound of flesh from us every time we mess up, cross the line, or miss the mark. And that, my friend, is the most crippling conclusion a Christian could ever have.
Please understand: God is not angry with you, because God is no longer your Judge. He judged Jesus in your place on the cross and nailed all of your sins to that dirty tree. To think that any of the circumstances in your life are a result of “pay-back” from God is a notion that smells like smoke and comes from the pit of hell. Satan would love for you to believe such things! They bind your mind, blacken your spirit, and break your heart. These conclusions shackle you in a prison of your own making. Crippling conclusions are the currency of the crippled Christian; but this is not for you!
As we have continually discussed in this blog, God is not blessing or cursing you because of what you are doing. Jesus took your curse upon Himself, and every blessing you receive is now a result of your union with Him. We cannot earn God’s favor and we cannot forfeit His blessings. If we could it would cease to be grace. As Paul explained, “If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace (Romans 11:6). Grace is a gift from beginning to end and it is always at work in the life of the Christian . . . from conception to completion.
One final point about crippling conclusions: many Christians mistake an open door of opportunity as God’s providential care. Not every open door is a door God wants you to walk through! Remember Jonah, who was rebelling and running from God; he happened upon a boat that was ready to set sail in the opposite direction God was calling. Was that ticket to Tarshish an open door from God? Hardly! It was an opportunity for Jonah to have his faith tested and he failed the test miserably. Yet even in Jonah’s failure he found a faithful God.
“I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever,” Jonah exulted; “yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God” (Jonah 2:6). In Jonah’s rebellion we catch a glimpse of a God who would pursue a rebel on the run and rescue him from himself. He does this each day for all of us.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!