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The mental gymnastics of unbelief

Sometimes, when our lives don’t work out the way that we thought they would, we try to backtrack and make sense of everything. Like the saying goes, though we could not see the future, our hindsight becomes 20/20. We do a kind of mental gymnastics of unbelief to try to make what God is doing fit into what we want to happen.

God says something to us, we obey by faith, yet things do not work out well – yet. Instead of holding fast to the word that God spoke to us, instead, we try to figure out how we heard wrongly. By rearranging how we got to our current position in Him, we figure out how He meant something else. Now, because of our new understanding, we can do what we want! It’s all so magical!

Obviously, since obeying God’s voice has led us into am apparent cul-de-sac of confusion, we must have not heard right in the first place. Or, if an opportunity comes up that appears more attractive than what can be fit into what our Father said previously, we busy ourselves in finding a way to change what He said – or what He meant.

God really does expect us to simply trust and obey

The truth is, though, when the Holy Spirit leads us, he simply expects us to obey – with or without understanding. Even when our obedience leads us into difficult circumstances, God still expects us to be still and know that He is God.

A common tactic of the devil is to offer something you have been wanting, something pleasing to the eye, that tempts you to disobey your Lord. Suddenly, when you have committed all to Christ, someone offers that job to you that you always wanted and “prayed about.” If you take that job, you can’t do exactly what Jesus asked you to do. However, if you do some mental gymnastics, refigure what He really meant, perhaps you can convince yourself that you can please Him and yourself too.

God rarely changes His mind

However, God hardly ever changes His mind about what He says. Once He says it, YHWH expects us to follow it. The first thing He says is what He means, and if we choose not to follow, He does not change His mind to agree with us. This is why almost doing what God wants is not the same thing as actually doing what God wants. Offering something that is almost as good, in your mind, is not acceptable. Eighty-five percent compliance with what Jesus says is still 15% sin – and misses the mark.

You might say, “But the cost is too great! How can I miss this golden opportunity? Doesn’t my Lord want to bless me with what I want? I prayed really hard! Can’t I obey later, and do this thing I really want to do first?” The short answer is “no.”

Build God’s kingdom, not yours

When we are building our own kingdom, we are not building His. When we are doing our own will, we are not obeying His will. When the things of this world take precedence over the things of the Spirit, we are unprofitable and disobedient servants.

The truth is, taking hold of what looks good to us over what God says to do, messes up not only our own lives, but the lives of our generations. Eve just didn’t kill herself as she bit into the forbidden fruit, but doomed the whole human race. When we choose to disobey the revealed word of God, that which He speaks to us directly, we destroy much more than we realize.

Practically nothing God asks us to do makes sense to our natural minds. Following the way that makes sense to us usually ends up in ruin. Plus, the blessings that our Father intended for us vanish, because we are not in position to receive them anymore.

God’s first word is His true word

In conclusion, when God speaks to you, trust His voice. Know that His first word is His true word. Don’t go back and try to rewrite, re-understand, or change His word when it does not fit with your plans.

Trust and Obey, sung by Don Moen