You have said, “What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.”
Malachi 3: 14, 15 (NLT)
I challenge anyone to deny that thoughts and emotions such as these have never crossed their mind or invaded the sanctity of their heart, even for a moment. What gives me the self-assurance to make this emboldened statement? Human nature is the culprit, an affliction common to all of mankind. We are essentially self-centered, envious, and greedy before we are enlightened. Before that point many expect the universe to revolve around them and provide them with all their wants and needs.
God, in his wisdom, however, has more edifying and eternally enriching plans prepared for us. Buckle your seat belt! His plans purposefully train us for a more prosperous and truly joyous life within his kingdom where he occupies the throne, not us. We should remember that all true joy emanates from the throne of Christ Jesus, the center of our universe, not from any intimacy with the world’s hollow enticements. Satan works persistently to help ensure we overlook or forget this eternal truth.
We are never to harbor destructive self-serving thoughts or associate ourselves with the wicked conduct of the evil, the brazenly disobedient, or with the blatantly arrogant among us. And while we believers can be impatient and self-righteously interfere with God’s virtuous work within us, we are to be openly honest and transparent with ourselves starting afresh every day by placing God squarely in the center of our universe and daily activities. Those individuals who remain willfully disobedient, will in God’s perfect timing, harvest what they have sown, for their joy is but frustratingly fleeting, justly unfulfilling, and will rapidly disintegrate into oblivion. And all the sins of the flesh will, one day, be consumed unto destruction.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed-roots, branches, and all.”
Malachi 4: 1 (NLT)
Lord God, help us to never forget who is on the eternal throne of grace and who brings eternal joy to our hearts. Help us to be patient and wise in our understanding of this truth and to trust resolutely in your eternal love and your commitment to our well being. And let us always be content with your perfect provision. Amen.
A F Fischer