My youngest niece, who I love dearly, will be graduating this weekend, from the University of South Carolina. As usual, my family is making this another huge family event that will entail celebration events in Colombia, Augusta, and Atlanta during the weekend.
Family members have been trying to convince me to attend because I said I could not attend. I cannot attend due to a preaching engagement. One family member, in particular, has been adamant about me attending the family events, by constantly saying to me and everyone else that God will understand if I didn’t preach or if I rescheduled.
We do serve an understanding God. That is why He is the God of long-suffering. But we must be careful how we use this truth.
We cannot use God’s understanding as an excuse to do our will or the will of others, instead of doing His will. It would be easy for me to sacrifice this opportunity to preach for the sake of being with family members. But the Word of God says, obedience is better than sacrifice.
When we say to ourselves, God will understand, we are leading ourselves into a mindset that also says, because grace abounds sin can abound. Again the Bible says God forbids this kind of thinking.
Always thinking that God will understand can be a dangerous way to think because it can lead us to sin. It can lead us to deceitful justify our sins. But more importantly, this thinking can cause us to take God’s grace for granted or to frustrate His grace. It took me a long time to learn this truth about God’s grace and now that I have finally learned it, I cannot substitute one good thing for the good thing of the Lord.
We must never forget the deceitfulness of Satan. Satan is the one who often brings the thought to us that God will understand. He uses that same method with Eve in the Garden of Eden and he constantly used that strategy against all believers today.
Yes, we do serve an understanding God but there are times when we must say to the devil and to ourselves, “Not my will be done, but your will be done.” What if Jesus had decided not to die on a cross because He convinced Himself, God will understand. Jesus was obedient even unto death because He would not comprise the will of God with the sometime deceptive truth that God will understand.
Gilbert Owens is native of Roseboro and columnist for the Sampson Independent