“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3:12)”.
It was a close call for the local high school girls’ basketball team yesterday. Shortly after they finished practice and left, the roof of the school’s gymn collapsed. As Keith Jackson used to say when broadcasting college footlball, “Whoa Nelly!”
We all have close calls at times. They may or may not be as dangerous as the one these teenagers encountered. It’s amazing how our fates seem to be determined by actions we do or do not take. Yesterday I put my recently broken foot on a PlayStation controller left in the floor of our living room -twice. Somehow I didn’t break it again.
Once I was sleeping in the back seat of a car while my my wife and I were traveling with friends. I heard some screams and woke up. I rebuked my wife and friends for being so loud. They rebuked me back. It seems that they had just avoided a head-on collision at high speed with another vehicle. I was oblivious to the whole thing because I was sleeping.
Walking through life being ignorant of possible calamity is dangerous. The biggest calamity we could face is one that comes as a result of NOT listening to God. His Holy Spirit is within us for a reason: so we can hear God’s voice and do what He says. When we toughen our hearts toward God, or just ignore Him, we potentially injure ourselves. Not only that, we make God unhappy (Hebrews 3:7-10).
It’s not a good idea to say to God, “I’m gonna (you fill in the blank)___________________ if it’s the last thing I do, regardless of what you think.” Following up on that attitude with action may in fact lead to it being the last thing we do.
For me, the hardest thing to do is to love others, especially when they are giving me a hard time. I am like the Psalmist, who called on God to bring the nasty behavior of his enemies down on their heads in punishment (Psalm 140:10). I want to see them get a taste of their own medicine..
But God tells me to love them out of devotion to Him. Ironically, in God’s scheme of things we do in fact rain trouble down on them when we do this. And we overcome the problems they make for us in the process (Romans 12:9-21).
It all starts with listening to God and doing what He says in faith, even when our lives are topsy-turvy. We will please Him, give rest to our souls and keep the roof from caving in on us and our loved ones.