The Cost of My Way
You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak. 2 Chronicles 12:5
Whenever I have followed some destructive desire, my conscience has initially objected. Don’t do this. Because I want it though, I override my conscience with excuses. The protest of my conscience is uncomfortable, but I need not worry. With repetitive injury, the voice of truth is extinguished and soon, I don’t even think about right or wrong. I simply do what I want.
I clearly remember several occasions when I told God that I was going my own way. I could hear His objections. Don’t do this. I knew that He would forgive me tomorrow, so it didn’t really matter. I could do what I wanted, repent later, and have the best of both worlds.
Looking back, I can hear God saying, You’re sort of right. I will forgive when you repent, but it won’t be tomorrow. It will be long months from now, after massive destruction and pain. You can go your own way, but I am going to allow you to suffer the consequences. You are about to learn the misery of following yourself.
This was the message to King Rehoboam in today’s passage. In it, Rehoboam and the Israelites abandoned God to pursue themselves. Then, Shishak, the king of Egypt, attacked. In his hour of need, God told Rehoboam he was on his own. Rehoboam was going to suffer the consequences of following himself.
Nearly a thousand years later, Paul echoed this thought, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts (Romans 1:24). This principle was true for Rehoboam and it is true for us. God allows us to pursue ourselves, but there are always consequences. We think we are free in following our own desires, but the reality, is that the surest route to addiction and slavery, is to do whatever we want.
Paradoxically, it is only in surrendering our will that we find freedom. When we are ready to truly know life, joy and peace, we will find it only in daily surrendering our way for God’s.