A school teacher lost her life savings in a business scheme that had been elaborately explained by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and her dream was shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau. "Why on earth didn't you come to us first?" the official asked. "Didn't you know about the Better Business Bureau?" "Oh, yes," said the lady sadly. "I've always known about you. But I didn't come because I was afraid you'd tell me not to do it."

Many people who have come for help with problems brought upon themselves because of poor and sinful decisions have said much the same thing as this lady. "I should have come to talk to you about it first." "Why didn't you?" the preacher asks. "Because I knew what you would say." The real problem is not in what the preacher would say, but in what God says. So many problems and troubles in life could be avoided if, instead of making decisions based on what seems good to us right now, we would go to God and His word and find out what He would say.

But, as in this example, knowing what God says and being willing to obey it are different matters. Knowledge without obedience is not very fruitful. The writer of Hebrews tells of two different groups of people who heard the same word, but which produced different results: (Hebrews 4:2) "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." Not only must we know the word, but we must also be willing to submit to the authority of the Almighty God in obedience. The next time you find yourself faced with a decision or temptation, why not "humble yourself under the mighty hand of God" search His will, and be obedient to Him. It's the child (immature person) who says, "I knew what you would say, but I didn't want to do it." It is the mature Christian who says, "Whatever you say Lord, that I will do."

Copyright 2001-James C. Guy All rights reserved.
*Permission granted to reprint for church or ministry use in free material (i.e. church bulletins, classes, sermons, etc.)

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