By Benjamin H. Liles
This isn't going to be one of those traditional articles I've written lately. You're about to see what I mean here. Over the past few years I've written two books and both, I consider to be learning mistakes. Originally I wrote a book entitled The Prodigal Son, attempting to use my life as an example to explain what Jesus was talking about in His use of the parable. I planned everything on that poorly. Fast forward a couple of years, and while I thought I planned better for releasing God's Great Grace, I feel like I made those same mistakes--again.
You know, when we sin we see those moments as they are: mistakes. But we're making those mistakes with a loving and just God who desires we didn't. You know our character doesn't change over night and truthfully, He knows that. Look at the life of Abraham, for example. God called to Abraham, then known as Abram, to "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land I will show you" (Genesis 12:1, New King James).
God Deals with Us
Guess what? Abraham simply obeyed. He listened to what God had to say and Abraham followed God's word to the last. Here's where I'm talking about with the idea of sinning (ie. making mistakes), Abraham didn't always act in accordance to his beliefs of God, and you'll see that in a minute. The main point of Abraham's life that we all learn from is that faith and obedience in God and His word go hand in hand.
But true to my word, here's an example of Abraham falling short: "And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, 'Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you" (Genesis 12:11-13). He not only lied to the Egyptians, but he got his wife to agree to accomplice his act. At the same time, while it may not look like God dealt with Abraham, He did I am sure of it, the thing is it's not important to the story.
Despite that, however, you never see God judging Abraham, for his actions. On the contrary, God plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, "And Pharaoh called Abram and said, 'What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, "She is my sister"? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.' So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had" (Genesis 12:18-20). This isn't going to be Abraham's only time of making his proverbial "mistake."
God Deals With All
The whole point of this article isn't actually lecture or even preach at you. Rather, God works with everyone of us in the same way as He dealt with Abraham. He extends His grace and favor even when we do the wrong things. Over time, nevertheless, we see God's grace--His providence--outweighs our slight character flaws. With that said, I feel I have learned some ways in not how to publish books so that I can get future books I write out to you guys without feeling I'm shooting myself in the foot. Also, this is a ministry that desires to serve you, the people, so it's not all about money for me. It would be nice for the extra income, but you know God comes first, you all second because really and truly love isn't selfish or self-seeking in the least bit. I think the reason I'm not being blessed because I want it stems from the fact God desires me to learn something of Him, of His nature.
To conclude my thoughts here on making mistakes, sinning, character flaws and all the like, as I said God works with each of us to show us something of importance of Him, who He is, and how much He truly loves us. When we yield to Him in our lives, asking for more of Him and less of ourselves, we see His grace and His justice as it really is, an act of love. He provides for us in ways we may not necessarily see, but He is active in our lives regardless. Also, He deals with us in such a way it looks and feels like He's punishing us, when in fact He just wants us to see the bigger picture. We have to see Him, not the circumstance and definitely not what the world claims is happening to us. I pray this helps and finds all of you well. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.