Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 11 I Wish I’d Known The Cost???
I would like to share some things that have been on my heart and mind lately. As most of you know (those who follow my blog) it’s coming up on a year since my daughter was murdered, and while I miss her terribly, my thoughts have gone in a different direction recently, and I’d like to share a few of them with you. I pray that my insights will bring hope, help and healing to some besides myself.
I was raised in a Christian home, and was blessed to have parents who loved me, taught me and had expectations for my life. I was a young woman in the 60’s and 70’s and I bought into many of the lies of the enemy—the “me” lies—that my wants and desires were the most important thing in life. I made some poor—no sinful—choices that followed that mindset; and while I chose to follow my “heart” in a fleshly sense, at the same time I defied the principles of God. Sadly, many of the people I listened to (even faithful believers and pastors) counseled me unbiblically that “God” wanted me to be “happy”, and if a divorce would make me “happy”, then I should “go for it”. I chose to pursue my selfish, fleshly lusts and desires dragging my children along for the ride—to their detriment and mine.
Without going into all the gory details, suffice it to say that God’s Word proved true when the counsel that I chose to follow didn’t! Just like God’s Word said!
“But if ye will not do so,
behold, ye have sinned against the LORD:
and be sure
will find you out.” Numbers 32:23
Much like the prodigal son (or daughter), I learned the hard way that while God is merciful and long-suffering, He is also pure and holy, and we must face our sin, repent and come to Jesus, as the song says, “Just As I Am”! But praise God, HE never leaves us “As” we were! But there are consequences to our sin; and while we have quoted this verse again and again, it is ever true and apropos in our culture today.
“Be not deceived;
God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh
shall of the flesh reap corruption;
but he that soweth to the Spirit
shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8
My choices caused my children harm that I can’t forget, but by God’s grace I have tried to face them with truthfulness and hope for the future. But one of the choices I made led to an abuse of my daughter, the effects of which followed her and me into her adulthood and ultimately led to some poor choices that ended in her death. I can’t describe how I have wrestled with these issues of my past; and maybe you’ve had issues from your past that haunt you as well. I’m here to tell you that God forgives, heals and restores as we yield to HIM, giving God the opportunity to transform us into the image of our Lord Jesus. There is a verse in Joel that has brought me such comfort and courage on this journey of life, because as God promised Israel a time of restoration, HE gave that same assurance to me many years ago. Many have asked through the years, how I can go on serving God so faithfully with a past that was so checkered, and I always reply, “It’s God’s grace!”, and I can go on because of God’s righteousness, power and grace as HE enables me to be and do all that HE saved me to be/do. I can walk in the light of HIS forgiveness and cleansing, knowing that He forgives and cleanses as I keep the lines open between HIM and me!
“And I will restore to you the years
that the locust hath eaten,
and the caterpiller,
and the palmerworm,
my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty,
and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the LORD
that hath dealt wondrously with you:
and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:25
I have a relationship with Jesus based on His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for my sin—and HE has imparted to me HIS righteousness, and called and equipped me to walk in it—in confidence of HIS adequacy not my own!
“For he hath made him
to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made
the righteousness of God
in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Do you know Jesus? Have you made a mess of your past? Is your present questionable? Well, my friend, when you belong to Jesus, HE is ever working to make you a vessel of honor in HIS kingdom!
“And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called:
and whom he called,
them he also justified:
and whom he justified,
them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us,
who can be against us?” Romans 8:28-31
If you don’t know Jesus, you can come to HIM today.
I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup with him,
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
When we belong to Jesus, we are called to march to the “Jesus” drumbeat and not the world’s. So, my friends where ever you are in life—look up—walk forward—and press on for, with and through Jesus. He has won the battle for our LIFE, and in HIM—we WIN!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
In closing, a mighty word from the Apostle Paul!
I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things
which are behind,
and reaching forth
unto those things
which are before,
14 I press toward the mark
for the prize
of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Press on dear ones—yes, I wish I’d known—but God did, and HE has picked me up, dusted me off (by the blood of Jesus) and sent me forth in HIS service. But the price of choosing poorly can be high. I wish I’d known, yet I know that HE is still waiting for you, and HE is a forgiving, life-changing God!
I simply remind us all to please choose wisely, so that you won’t have to live with regrets of the past. If you listen to God today instead of the enemy of your soul, the regrets will be few, and the blessings abundant (and even if you’ve already made those poor choices—God is here to lift you up, restore you to usefulness, and glorify HIMSELF in YOU!). Jesus still saves and changes lives today—
HE is ready to transform your life today—
Because of His sacrifice on the cross!
Open that door—HE will come in! Amen and Amen!!!