Aborting Providence
by JohnBagwell
 Faith & Family
Jan 21, 2012 | 2482 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Decisions, even small ones, can have vast and unintended consequences.  Like a secret agent on a mission, one errant decision can cause the whole plan to unravel calling for everyone involved to "abort the mission" because circumstances have changed and success is no longer possible.

My daughter has been given a few responsibilities around the house.  For this she gets an allowance of $1.25 per week, and included in these responsibilities is the daily task of feeding the dogs and checking to make sure they have water.  Should she fail to feed the dogs even once during the week, she forfeits her allowance for the entire week.  Some may see this as a bit heavy handed, but I am trying to teach her consistency in self-discipline, and the idea that failure to hold up her responsibilities will have great consequences.

If she doesn't feed the dogs, then the dogs who depend on her, the dogs who have done nothing wrong, would go hungry.  (To be sure, I'd feed them myself, but only after she has gone to bed.)  She might forget, and in fact, even if she remembers I have told her that she does not have to feed the dogs if she does not want to, but the dogs will go hungry if she does not, and she will get nothing for an allowance at the end of a week.  She will not be reminded of her responsibilities.  The choice is hers.

So far, she has had a few close calls, and maybe one day she will slip up and forget, but the knowledge of leaving hungry dogs outside to suffer for her own actions has made an impact on her.  What is more, the idea that she could do a whole weeks worth of work to lose it all at the end by forgetting has her leaving notes to herself, reminding herself to feed the dogs.  She is learning a lot of lessons here.

It may not seem fair to some that she should lose her whole allowance if she misses feeding the dogs once at the end of a week, but consider this; we can go our whole lives building a reputation, and lose it all in a moment.  I also believe we lose a lot more than just our reputation when we choose to do what is wrong.

I believe God has a plan for our lives, and His hand of providence is ever willing to bless us along that path.  We can choose to stay on that path, or we can choose to stray.  The choice is ours.  God will not be there hovering over us to remind us that sin is going to have consequences, we simply must choose.  Whether we like it or not, choosing to sin will abort God's hand of providence in our lives as we kick off a chain reaction of events that sends us off of God's plan for our lives.

A striking example of this exists early in Scripture where, in Genesis chapter four, Cain chooses to abort God's plan for his life.  Notice how God never intervenes, even when it will cost Abel his life.  Cain always has a choice in his actions.  In the end, Abel is murdered, the parents suffer the loss of a child, and Cain is marked for life.  Even today we think rather poorly of the first child born into this world, because he had a choice, and because he chose to abort providence the earth would never grow for him ever again.  Genesis 4:12a "When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength;"

The good news is, you may choose to abort providence in your life, but God is not without mercy.  Your life may have strayed far from God's plan, but God is in the reconciliation business as well.  This is one aspect of God that many Christians I know love to embrace for themselves, but detest when God shows mercy on others who have wronged them.

If you are ever tempted to sin, take a moment to realize you have a choice here.  You can choose to do what is wrong, and God will not come down from heaven to stop you.  Regardless of how awful your sin might be, God will not intervene.  You must fight that spiritual battle yourself, but know that if you lose that spiritual battle and give in to temptation, there will be vast and unintended consequences, and you will abort God's providence in your life.

If you are someone who realizes how far off God's plan for your life you have strayed, there is still hope.  God is a God of judgement, but only against the unrepentant heart.  God is also a God of mercy to those who would come before Him with a humble heart.  James 4:6 "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."  Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

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