How do I Know What Is Working?

Have you ever tried to figure out how to please God by how your circumstances are unfolding or what is happening in your life?  Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people are less interested in knowing God than in getting Him to do what they want or have Him give them what they want.  So, they try to manipulate God into a certain result by their behavior.  This is what leads to silly superstitions which are not so silly when they begin to govern people’s lives; or when they turn into religious rituals…such as burying a statue of a particular saint to help the house sell faster…yes, some people really do that sort of thing.

In Jeremiah chapter 44, Jeremiah calls the people to stop offering incense to the queen of heaven and other false gods.  The people’s response is “but when we offered the incense to the queen of heaven, things were going pretty well but when we stopped things went south”.  Jeremiah’s response was that God was being patient and gracious while they were offering the incense to the false gods but eventually His patience and mercy “wore off” and judgment followed.  Now, the people knew that God’s law forbid them to offer incense to the queen of heaven but they were evaluating the “rightness” of their actions by the “results” of their actions…but is any of us really qualified to do that?

I don’t think we are.  We don’t really know, based on actions, if something is right or wrong?  Sometimes people get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and they make it home safely…does that mean it is OK?  Of course not.  But if we do not evaluate our actions by the word of God then we really have no way of evaluating our actions do we?  Please do not try to live your life by what “works” but rather live your life by what God says.

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