Sunday, August 4, 2013

"Good Intentions", without Believing God, Is a Recipe for Disaster

I was going to name this post, "Good Intentions without Faith...", but I realized the word "faith" is easily misunderstood. People in the world can have "faith" - faith in themselves, or faith in mankind, or faith in the religion they were raised in.

But the faith I am talking about is faith in God's word, that is, belief in what God says, or as I put it in the title of this post, believing God.

Belief in God's word, believing what God told him, is the kind of faith Abraham had, who is a father of the faithful and example for us to follow (Genesis 15:2-6, James 2:23-24, Romans 4:3-25, Isaiah 51:1-2). It is this kind of faith we should imitate. We exercise the kind of faith Abraham had when we read God's word, the Bible, and believe what God says as Abraham believed God, "and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3).

Why is believing God important?

Have you ever known someone, maybe a friend or family member, who was about to make a big mistake based on their "good intentions", but you could see it would lead to bad results? You tried to talk to the person and explain, but he or she did not believe you? Have you ever been hurt by someone who was just trying to do what he or she thought was right (but it was not right)?

There is a saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." That saying makes the point that people can do bad things leading to bad results but based on their intention to do what they think is right. The problem usually is that the person who does the bad thing doesn't accurately know what is right or good and what is wrong. The person doesn't understand the bad results that will come from his actions. He thinks good will result. But his knowledge and understanding of consequences is limited.

But that is true of all of us. Our knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are limited because all of us are human. Only God has perfect wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Only God's mind is infinite.

That is why, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

So it is easy for any of us, using our human opinions and reasoning only apart from God's word, to make mistakes in our decisions and choices, thinking we are doing the right thing that will lead to good, but instead it leads to disaster.

But faith in God's word is our protection against disastrous mistakes.

God's knowledge is perfect even though ours isn't. And God teaches us in the Bible the way of life that is right and leads to everything good. We can trust Him that He knows what is best and will never lie to us.

Faith in God's word, believing what God says in the Bible and channeling that belief and trust into obedient action and choices, will protect us from making serious mistakes based on "good intentions" that lead to disaster, suffering, and death.

But we should not just think of this truth in terms of this physical life only. God is building in us the character of faith and trust in His word, not just for this temporary, physical life, but for eternity in His family.

When we are fully born into God's kingdom at the return of Christ, we will continue to trust and believe and obey God and Christ as they direct us in ruling the entire universe. We will never doubt what they tell us thinking we know better. And it is that eternal pattern of faith and obedience that will ensure that the results of our decisions and actions will always be good. Never again will suffering result from somebody's "good intentions".

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