Life or Death
1 Peter 3:10-12 Whoever desires to love life and see good days… let him turn away from evil and do good…For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous… But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
I have met many who, in their recovery from addiction, have come to faith and forgiveness in Christ, only to find that the world is not as kind as God. They had been told that all was forgiven, only to find that judges, spouses and parole officers were not participating in the same program. I do this too. I tend to think that because I am eternally saved that God somehow frees me from the natural laws of the world He created. The truth is, that I can be saved and still suffer very real consequences in the pursuit of my fleshly desires.
The mistake then, I think is to imagine that the world’s rules are somehow outside of God’s providence. Sure, God has forgiven me, but I still have to deal with this big, bad world. God made the world this way however. We reap the seeds we sow.
I am not talking about a prosperity gospel. I am referring to the death and destruction that we cause when we pursue our flesh nature. I am speaking of the broken marriages, wrecked relationships, destroyed trust, lost jobs, shame, guilt, and sleepless nights that come from our evil. If we pursue the evil desires of our flesh nature, we will sow the seeds of our own destruction.
I have mistakenly thought that I could play with fire and somehow, because I was saved, God would keep me from getting burned. The truth is, I can accept Christ and then still pursue self. I can be saved and still struggle with an addiction to food. I can be (I hope) a chubby Christian. Likewise, I can choose to crawl back into my flesh nature and live under the destructive influence of pornography, tobacco, pride, money, self-image, popularity, status or success.
Or, I can choose to turn away from evil and do good. Just as I will reap destructive consequences when I pursue self, I will reap real life when I pursue God. This wonderful life does not automatically happen though as some believe. This is a choice and a battle that we have to fight daily.
When we turn from ourselves daily and pursue good, we show our love of life instead of destruction. I want to be that lover of life. I want to feel the eyes of God on me. I have lived in the deafness of his ears with his face turned against me and I found it to be tremendously unpleasant. I have lived also in the sunlight of his gaze which, I have to say, is fantastic. So today, I will do what it takes to turn from evil and embrace life.