Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” NKJV
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! My devotional today is not a typical Thanksgiving message but one that I believe is needed in this hour! God bless you and may your celebration be joyous and your heart full of thanksgiving!
I need to explain my title before launching into this devotional. The text and the title do not seem compatible in many ways but I believe they are in perfect harmony. Frequently, people argue that they are the way they are because God “made them that way.”
In a measure, I can accept that and yet totally reject it at the same time. If you follow that thought or idea through to its logical conclusion God would, in fact, be quite sadistic. He would be other than the God of Love of the Bible and the God who offered those comforting words in our text. If we follow that idea through to its logical conclusion then one would have to determine that we are simply robots.
We would be without the ability to choose and therefore controlled by the divine. That would mean that sin is not sin because if we are not responsible for our actions we cannot be held accountable for them. Sin would be God’s fault and if I sin, blame God. I know of few Christians who would embrace that idea. However, it seems to be taught indirectly by some who envision themselves as God’s Voices and Authorities on all things spiritual if not all things.
I readily acknowledge that genetics and environment play a significant role in our character and makeup. I would never argue that there are not genetic, neurological, and even chemical factors involved in addiction and physiological and psychological bents in life. However, if I adopt the view that “God made me this way” regardless of what “this way is” then whatever I am is God’s fault. If my makeup is unwholesome it is His fault and if it is wholesome He gets the credit. The Bible speaks of choices from Genesis to Revelation and if we have no choice then those directives could be considered sadistic and that is foreign to the Bible’s teaching about the nature, person, character, and purpose of God.
Let me approach it this way, I have battled weight for a considerable amount of my adult life but if I believe God made me fat, why should I get off the couch or out of the easy chair? Why take the steps needed to get in shape, lose weight, and become more healthy? To do so would, under that ideology, be fighting the very design of God because after all, “He made me fat.”
The Bible also gives warning about the dangers of anger or rage but if God “made me this way” then why resist? Hey, I can fly off the handle and go into a fit of rage with no accountability because after all “God made me this way”, right? NO! NO! NO! The Bible clearly warns that if we become angry and that anger is not bridled it is akin to murder and God forbids murder as a violation of His righteous principles and a violation of the right to life of another human being.
We have many people today who are addicted to something whether that be alcohol, drugs, food, sex, money, power, or many other things, and if we adopt the idea that “God made them that way” why fight against God? Of course, genetics and other factors can and do come into play but there is also a choice and sometimes that choice is simply to call upon God for help.
Remember our text and the promise of God. He has plans for us that are good, not evil, and wants us to have peace, not turmoil. He wants to give us a future and a hope, not a life of despair and the darkness of depression through addiction or something else. His declaration was, “…You will call upon me and pray to Me and I will listen to you.” He further said, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Seeking is one thing Finding quite another and it would be sadistic for God to instruct us to SEEK HIM with no hope of FINDING HIM. If we are doomed to a life, whatever life, of darkness because we were made a particular way that is not HOPE that is DESPAIR and that is not God!
God is not out to get us. Although human beings cannot explain fully why there are birth defects, difficulties, and propensities in some and not in others we can trust that God is not SADISTIC. He did not intentionally design us to make us suffer or cause us to be other than the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
If I believe, and I do, that God is a Loving God who wants us to prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers I cannot accept the notion that He made me a certain way with no hope of deliverance or healing. I cannot adopt the mentality that God creates us in ways to force us into actions and lifestyles that propel us outside His will and desire to punish us.
We are CREATED in the Image and Likeness of God and unless you want to label God in the ways we accuse Him of creating us you might want to rethink your argument. We do a fine job of making ourselves other than the righteousness of God and He is not the blame. He has provided a way of escape and a door to salvation and invites us to enter into the Joys of our Lord. I cannot and will not blame God for any sin or flaws in my life but will credit Him with His Grace and Mercy that brings me forth to victory!
God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Christ Jesus our Lord!