Hosea 4:6 (ESV) 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
As I get more mature (that polite word for getting older), believing God becomes second nature in some ways. It has become more a part of me.
Yet, there are new attacks…different attacks on my faith.
At this stage, I have seen more. Seeing more has strengthened my faith because I have seen the faithfulness of God. I now know that there is much I don’t understand and won’t ever understand until heaven. I fully believe that He has an overarching plan that includes me and mine but is not in the remotest sense “just” about me and mine.
Yes…I have seen more. So…if I am not careful, the realities of what I have seen can also cause me to battle new waves of fear and dread…faithlessness. There are moments I just…become…weary. Just like you (whether young or “more mature”) there are times I have no energy to take on another battle. There are no words for the mess I see before me…no great paragraphs of faith-filled wisdom. There are no clear-cut answers to what is happening or why.
The enemy creeps forward when you and I are struggling like this and whispers (or shouts) to our weary souls. Interesting. He likely has less time to cause me to be a stumbling block to my kids and grands now. I might be a lot closer to heaven than some of you. If so, he has less time to use my life to make faith seem like a fraud. He needs me. As a younger-than-me person, he needs you to further his cause. He needs your help to discourage the next generation…to break the faith of those you love most through your own (if momentary) faithless words and actions.
In those moments when I can’t even think of a verse to cling to and I have no words to pray, I have learned that it all comes down to two words…two powerful words…
What a relief. I don’t have to figure it out and fix it. I can rest. I can pray. I can count on Him. When the fiery darts are everywhere…headed straight for me and mine…I don’t have to count on me! I will always…you will always have a part, yes. But it is not our responsibility to figure it out and fix it.
“There is a God and I am not He!” Don’t you love that? What a funny but revealing statement. We don’t even realize how often we take on His job. What a relief when we understand…when we “get it”. Once we get it…we can release it.
That is faith! Faith, of course, is what the enemy desperately wants to discourage. When he can discourage your faith…it comes through in your actions. Your faithless words and actions are seen and heard by those you care about most.
Boom! Two for the price of one! Whoosh! Two, three, four down…one arrow!
Generations affected through one person’s lack of vision…lack of faith.
Deuteronomy 7:9-11 (ESV) 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.
Exodus 20:5-6 (ESV) 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.