WHEN GOD WITHHOLDS
In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Genesis 20:5-6 ESV
Does God ever see me when I’m about to sin and do something to prevent it? Apparently yes. And as a parent, I understand as I remember the times I removed a temptation from a child because I knew it was too much for him to handle.
In order to save the lives of his family, Abraham turned over his wife to a pagan king. He did it to ‘help God’ as he believed that he must take matters into his own hands to preserve the promises God had made regarding his descendants. Abimelech was the innocent party, as he had no idea Sarah was married. As part of his harem, he would have slept with her but God intervened to reveal that Sarah was Abraham’s wife, not his sister. Fear gripped his heart and he acted honorably toward Sarah for fear of the consequences.
I’m so glad that many of the things I have wanted, and asked for, God didn’t give me. I’m chilled as I think about it. God removed things, and people, that would have harmed me on my spiritual journey. He also removed them because I couldn’t handle the temptations their presence brought me. It felt cruel years ago but time has revealed that God prevented dangerous detours in my spiritual journey. He kept me safe and often that meant saving me from myself. My spiritual immaturity would have acted out. My wounds, then unhealed, would have been too influential in the process of righteous choice-making.
You may be experiencing the pain of loss. God seems cruel as He takes away what you believe you need. It can be a person, resources, or an opportunity that holds promise. His direct involvement to block your way is a stumbling block in your relationship with Him. How can you desire intimacy with Someone who is wounding you?
When I move beyond Bible doctrine and Christian education, the essence of Christianity is pretty simple and extremely childlike. Jesus loves me – and I trust Him no matter what because He already proved how much He loves me. Period. What is the answer when God appears guilty of withholding from me what is good? I remember that my view is limited so I choose to trust Him. The most brilliant rationales by men fall apart when measured against the goodness that drives the decisions of an omniscient and sovereign God.
However things appear today, You love me and always act in my best interest. When I distrust this, Lord, I put my heart in danger. Help my unbelief. Amen