We, the Born-Again, Serve a God That is Impossible to Disappoint.
We Do Not Fear His Anger in Disappointment!
Why God is Never Disappointed.
Webster's definition: disappoint - to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of another.
A believer who does not believe or has not come to the realization that our God is completely sovereign over creation and the affairs of mankind; in them you will find one who as James 1:6 puts it: '..wavering...like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.' One day they are up and confident; the next day they are down and powerless due to an overpowering guilt and the fear that their heavenly Father is angry with them. We have all been there; sadly many have taken up residence, for far too long, living in the guilt of failure. Four points:
- God has no expectations or wishes when it comes to His saints - for He is omniscient - He knows everything. He knows when we will fail our expectations for our own walk and for those of us with children; our disappointments are guaranteed but not for our Lord. He knew us before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), He knew us in the womb (Psalm 139:13) and He knows our very thoughts and the intents of the heart. There is nothing we can do to catch Him off-guard, to surprise or disappoint Him.
- When we realize for ourselves that we have sinned against God and His Word, He allows us to know guilt which is what sets us apart from those who know not our Lord Jesus. The world feels guilt for the biggie sins; murder, theft, etc. but not for the lesser foibles such as our language, the use of our tongue, the straying of our hearts, the use of our time, our insensitivity to the needs of another, the lack of love for our brethren and the list goes on.
- Dealing with our guilt and being disappointed are not compatible within the character of God. If our failure requires discipline from above; that action has been in place prior to us even becoming children of the King. His discipline is never in anger as a reaction to our sin but is made in perfect love that will have a perfect outcome as we grow to become more Christ-like!
- Remember Proverbs 1:7 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge..." When I was a child, I shook in fear of the those dreaded words, … wait until your father gets home. I had no doubt that my father loved me but the fear that consumed me was not the punishment I would receive but that I disappointed my father and the look on his face. The Church needs to learn to fear the LORD in our own hearts for we are truly prone to sin and fail miserably. The fear that comes out of most pulpits is watered down to be only reverence and we wonder why our assemblies lack power and the sheep are so weak.
Do You Believe God is Sovereign?
The Believer's Fickled Heart Problem.
The Church is filled with what I call the 'sovereign buts', for out of one side a believer's mouth comes praise for the sovereignty of God then out of the other side comes the will of man being able to thwart the plans of God. Do you really think the plan of the Creator of the universe can be held at bay by the need for approval on man's part? Do you believe what God said in Isaiah 55:11 -'So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall NOT return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' If you do, how can you believe you had anything to do with your own salvation or even the keeping of it?
- There are three reasons why so many reject the sovereignty of God in their salvation and sanctification experience; pride, pride and more pride. Man so desperately wants to be in control of their own lives, even as a believer, that they feel that they have to have something that sets them apart from the lost crowd. They think they chose Him and that election requires a willing subject. John 1:13 states - 'Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.'
- When a believer does not believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, it affects so many aspects of their salvation experience. When it comes to studying the Word; think of all the scriptures that have to be re-interpreted to something other than literal, stretched to fit your personal doctrine or ignored completely for it goes against everything you hold dear. One will look at the lost of this world and make decisions on who is worthy to be saved and an asset for the Kingdom. Ever notice within our society when someone of renown becomes a Christian, the churches go gaga over a celebrity believer, when in reality, if it is real, they are a babe and know nothing. Remember the criteria has been set by God; the weak, the simple and the nothings - that no one may glory in His presence. There are some large denominations in our country that have as a major doctrine within their churches of the keeping and losing of one's salvation. Some go as far to proclaim the achievement of perfection this side of heaven.
- If God is not a respecter of person's; what does this make us when we set up our own personal criteria for another's walk or usefulness to the body of Christ? Do you notice the shift within our churches today of shelving the wisdom of the aged in putting them aside for an emphasis upon the youth who have almost no wisdom, only due to the lack of the experiences of life. This is not only not healthy for the whole assembly but the exact opposite of Paul's teaching in Titus chapter two.
- If you bring up the absolute sovereignty of God when comes to salvation to another who holds the doctrine of the will of man having the final say; an argument will follow and you find out very clearly the love/hate relationship with the doctrine of sovereignty found among today's Christians.
Though beyond my understanding, God is not disappointed by a believer's lack of belief in His sovereignty, for He is in control and His ways are not our ways. He has a reason for allowing unbelief for a season and even possibly for a lifetime; but in the end - He will be glorified.
Books, Books a Multitude of Books
The Bible - a Best Seller That is Seldom Read.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 - '...my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is weariness of the flesh.'
One last point: too many believers attempt to grow their faith, not under godly teaching or preaching or in their private study of the Word, but in the books of myriads of learned men. In today's world more and more are reaching out to the internet or listening to radio preachers to satisfy their need for knowledge. The sheep are hungry and unfortunately many individuals within a congregation are starving for the meat of the Word. Many of these sources are right-on including the book producers but they lack the desperately needed fellowship as iron sharpens iron. We have no way often times the ability prove their doctrine against the Word or to hear a voice that might put an aspect of balance to their teaching. I recently read a posting concerning the net worth of several bible expositors and was surprised to see one mentioned that has a huge women's ministry following which is even evident at my local assembly. It was stated that her net worth exceeded $20 million. If that is truly the case, there is a grave problem within our ranks; people are more ready to spend money upon another's ministry than to meet the needs in their own family or community. Sadly, the book producers know of the void within the church and are profiting greatly on satisfying this need.
A serious side effect to all this extra-curricular study is the constant changing of personal doctrine if not weighed directly against the Word of God. What one believed last week has now been superseded by new and more interesting doctrine. God has designed His own to need one another and when we step outside of this plan, we are the one's that suffer a loneliness, only a believer could experience.
Fellowship is the will of God for every true believer. We all do not need to be Einstein when it comes to the Word but our presence is a source of joy to another which immensely pleases our Father. We may never disappoint our God, but it is a source of great joy to be pleasing to him!