God Won’t Trick You
It was Halloween night, 1985, and I was home alone. Only 16 at the time, I was tasked with passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters while my parents went out for the evening. Around 10 o’clock, I climbed into bed and turned out the lights. Immediately I began to hear tapping on my window, which was strange since I was on the second floor. Every few minutes, I heard what sounded like pebbles hitting my window, but when I looked through my curtains, there was no one there. It was unsettling.
Soon after, the doorbell rang. I thought my parents must have forgotten their keys, so I headed downstairs and opened the front door. I was startled by two 4-foot-tall boys in frightening masks standing there. My heart started to pound. I asked them, “Isn’t it a little late to be trick-or-treating?” As they silently shook their heads “no,” someone started beating on my back door. This completely freaked me out, and I let out a small scream. That’s when one of the boys took off his mask, and I instantly recognized my boyfriend’s younger brother. When my boyfriend appeared—laughing hysterically—from around the corner, I realized two things: I had been tricked, and I really needed to break up with my boyfriend!
It’s fun to participate in harmless shenanigans and mischief from time to time. On the other hand, sometimes people play tricks on us that can cause real harm. Phishing, spoofing, ghosting, and catfishing—new terms are popping up left and right—it’s hard to keep up with all the ways people can hurt you these days! The enemy is always coming up with diabolical schemes to wreak havoc on us. In fact, you can trace all lies and partial truths back to him:
He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44 NLT).
Thankfully, there is One who will never prank you, deceive you, or have a big laugh at your expense. God won’t trick you because it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18)!
Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true (Romans 3:4).
In Matthew 7:9-10, Jesus presents a scenario that sounds a little bit like “trick-or-treating”:
“You parents, if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!”
Jesus is making the point that if we ask God for something good and necessary, He’s not going to trick us and give us something terrible! We serve a kind and loving God who wants to give good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11).
I love to pray the promises of God. The Bible is packed with promises for healing, for provision, for protection, for peace, etc. And since God cannot lie, I know in God’s time, they will all come to pass. What are you praying and believing God for today? Be assured that a good answer is on the way. God won’t trick you.
Psalms 127:1-2 1Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.
One of the most repeated messages in the Bible is our helplessness without God. I can build a dwelling. I can create a family. But if God is not in it, all my work is without meaning. It is utterly unproductive. Man has the idea that if he relies on himself, he will surely get things done. The Gospel message tells us that without the LORD we will accomplish nothing (John 15:5).
We can’t even protect ourselves. Unless God is watching over us, we are clear targets for the enemy of our soul. Consider the infant in the manger. If God were not watching over that helpless baby, what chance would he have had of surviving Herod’s extermination of every infant in the area? The Destroyer is held at bay by God. We forget to thank God for that daily protection.
The psalmist speaks of a house and a city. The New Testament uses both as an analogy to the church. Today we have many men building churches. There are formulas that work to gather large numbers of people. If God is not the builder, if the work is the work of man and not the Holy Spirit, we will see it end in vanity. Is the LORD building the church you attend? Is the leadership following the Holy Spirit? Encourage that by letting your household be built by God. Let God build your home by faithfully hearing from God and following through on His leading.
You can work eighteen hours every day. You can do your best as if all success depended on you, but success comes from the LORD. He doesn’t drive His sheep. He calls to them to follow Him. He promises them rest.
Consider: Are you cognoscente of the fact that success in God’s eyes is not dependent on how hard you labor, but on your obedience in the little things? As you obey in the little things, He works out the big issues, and the fruit of that cooperation is eternal.
Streams in the Desert – October 31
- 202231 Oct
Likewise also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).
This is the deep mystery of prayer. This is the delicate divine mechanism which words cannot interpret, and which theology cannot explain, but which the humblest believer knows even when he does not understand.
Oh, the burdens that we love to bear and cannot understand! Oh, the inarticulate out-reachings of our hearts for things we cannot comprehend! And yet we know they are an echo from the throne and a whisper from the heart of God. It is often a groan rather than a song, a burden rather than a buoyant wing. But it is a blessed burden, and it is a groan whose undertone is praise and unutterable joy. It is “a groaning which cannot be uttered.” We could not ourselves express it always, and sometimes we do not understand any more than that God is praying in us, for something that needs His touch and that He understands.
And so we can just pour out the fullness of our heart, the burden of our spirit, the sorrow that crushes us, and know that He hears, He loves, He understands, He receives; and He separates from our prayer all that is imperfect, ignorant and wrong, and presents the rest, with the incense of the great High Priest, before the throne on high; and our prayer is heard, accepted and answered in His name.
–A. B. Simpson
It is not necessary to be always speaking to God or always hearing from God, to have communion with Him; there is an inarticulate fellowship more sweet than words. The little child can sit all day long beside its busy mother and, although few words are spoken on either side, and both are busy, the one at his absorbing play, the other at her engrossing work, yet both are in perfect fellowship. He knows that she is there, and she knows that he is all right.
So the saint and the Saviour can go on for hours in the silent fellowship of love, and he be busy about the most common things, and yet conscious that every little thing he does is touched with the complexion of His presence, and the sense of His approval and blessing.
And then, when pressed with burdens and troubles too complicated to put into words and too mysterious to tell or understand, how sweet it is to fall back into His blessed arms, and just sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak!
From: Today’s Devotion
SCRIPTURE READING — ROMANS 2:1-4
Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Romans 2:4 reveals the path by which we and others come to repentance. It’s all because of God’s kindness.
But too often we assume that the threat of judgment is what leads to repentance. “If only we can show people how bad they are, then they will be sorry,” we think. Or perhaps if we can show them the consequences of their actions—like some negative life outcomes, or the ultimate punishment of going to hell—then they will repent, right?
But the path to repentance is quite different. Instead, God is kind with us. And God waits patiently for us to notice his kindness. And rather than showing us our consequences, God actually holds back our consequences—at least many of the worst ones. Holding back consequences is called forbearance. God forbears with us until we see his kindness.
It is God’s kindness that leads to our repentance. God’s example challenges us to somehow forbear with other people’s unrepentant attitudes. It’s not our place to judge them or bring about their consequences. In fact, perhaps, like Christ, we ought to help bear others’ consequences. We should show the kindness, patience, and forbearance that God has shown us.
Dear Jesus, this world is still full of vices. Help us to endure in forbearing with others, just as you have endured with us. Amen.