Tuesday, February 21, 2023

It Works!

By Joe Slater


    God’s word makes it clear that He views success quite differently than we do. We set a goal, plan a strategy, and carry out the plan. If it works, we claim success. Someone asks, “What is the problem with this?” Simply put, God’s will has been left out of the equation!

    During King Asa’s reign over Judah, King Baasha of Israel invaded. Asa paid the Syrians to attack Israel’s homeland, forcing Baasha to go back home to defend his own land. Asa then re-captured the territory Baasha had taken (see 1 Kings 15:16-21).

    Pretty good strategy, wouldn’t you say? And it definitely worked! God, however, sent His prophet, Hanani, to rebuke Asa (2 Chronicles 16:7-9). The king had put his trust in his pagan neighbors rather than in the Lord. Yes, it “worked,” but it dishonored God.

    Moses also “succeeded” in a task, but sinned in the process. God told him to provide water for Israel by speaking to a rock (Numbers 20:8). Instead of obeying, Moses, being furious with his people, gave the rock a double-whack with his rod (20:9-11). Water miraculously gushed forth in great abundance. It worked! But Moses and Aaron forfeited the blessing of going across Jordan into the promised land (20:12).

    Worldly philosophy says that the end justifies the means. Since Asa gained relief from his enemies, his method doesn’t matter. Since Moses acquired water for his people, it makes no difference how he did it. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that people offend God by reaching the right goals using the wrong means.

    Church growth, for example, is an eminently Scriptural goal. God wants His church to grow; if you don’t want the church to grow, you need to repent! And God’s church will grow when Christians are serving as they ought. Some, however, in misguided zeal, seek to produce church growth by using methods that are outside of God’s will. Watering down the gospel, exchanging worship for entertainment, and otherwise appealing to people’s carnal side, might attract large crowds; but it doesn’t glorify God!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com

No comments:

Post a Comment