Good thoughts by Andrew on 1 Sam 4-8.
The scary thing about what I read today is that God is more than willing to give you exactly what you want. However, be warned; there are consequences. We are not going to accidentally be obedient to God. We will not stumble upon a relationship with him. We will not be surprised with a heavenly home. Righteousness is a choice we must make each hour of each day. God will give you the desires of your heart. We just need to make sure it is HIM we actually desire.
He’s right that often God will give us what we want. If we want to do wrong, if we insist upon it, we have free will. God was always, in the ultimate sense, in charge of Israel. He was going to be true to his promise to David, finally bringing the faithful remnant forward, but he did not keep the people from making their mistakes and fleeing from his will.
At other times, I’ve felt God’s hand restraining me from pursuing what I want. Perhaps because in a deeper sense I know that’s not what I really want.
Andrew’s also spot on: spirituality and righteousness are not accidents. We must pursue them with all our being. Heart, soul, mind, strength. In matters of eternity, there will be no pleasant surprises at the end: We will either get what we are hoping for, that eternal reward, or be unpleasantly surprised to hear him tell us to go away because he does not know us, has never known us, Mt 7.
Andrew’s words remind me of what Paul said, “My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” Phil 3.10-11.
That “somehow” is nothing iffy, but merely indicates that how God will do this, only he knows, but we know that he will. (I like NLT’s translation here: “one way or another.”) And we will do what it takes to know Christ and to participate fully, in both pain and pleasure, in his mission and life.
For, unlike Israel, we want nothing but God, and all that he is.
Thanks, Andrew, for those thoughts.