Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pressured To Walk Away by Martin Wiles

Series: Perfected By Pressure
Rob was the first person I knew who turned their back on God. Oh, I had known people disgruntled with church because someone hurt their feelings, but they were making a point-not turning their back on God. Rob actually walked away.

Rob and I had struck up an immediate camaraderie the first day of college. We were both intellectuals, but Rob’s questions eventually led him to doubt God’s existence. Not finding satisfactory answers to life’s quandaries, he told me one day, “I don’t believe in God anymore,” then he left college. Rob responded to pressure by walking away.

The writer of Hebrews probably imagines a hypothetical scenario, but it’s a warning nevertheless of what responding wrongly to pressure can lead to. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened…who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Life’s pressures are funded by one of four sources: Satan, God, us and others. While God never sends trials hoping we’ll turn away from him, Satan does. And others might as well. God never allows his trials or Satan’s temptations to be more than we can handle. Nor will he allow others to pressure us to the point of despair. Job’s wife misunderstood the purpose of her husband’s trials and told him to curse God and die. “Walk away Job.”

Instead of us walking away, God wants to build our trust, form our faith and intensify our relationship with him. Pressures accomplish this when we’re willing to ask God “What” instead of “Why.” Rather than leaving God, let life’s pressures cause you to lunge toward him in faith.

Prayer: Lord, when we’re tempted to walk away because the pain’s too great or because we don’t understand Your purposes, encourage us to draw closer by faith instead.

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