“And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Malachi 2:1-2
- Because God is long-suffering, I am often allowed to sin for a long time before I see any consequences.
- Because God is long-suffering, I tend to relax about unrighteous behavior and assume I’ll get away with it.
- Because God is long-suffering, I am lulled into a sense of well-being and prideful autonomy.
- Because God is long-suffering, I wrongly mistake His mercy for apathy.
God took a long time before He disciplined His priests. They knew better yet they sinned anyway against a holy God. Because they got away with it for so long, they grew complacent in their sinful practices. They mistook prosperity for God’s indifference and even assumed He was blessing them.
If I am a child of God, I belong to the ‘kingdom of priests’. When the Spirit of God takes up residence in me, that event has staggering ramifications. I am no longer King over myself even though it may feel like it due to the fact that I still have free choice. I am under obligation to allow God to reign over my life. I will not enjoy the timeless luxury of making choices that are good for me and not for God. I will be loved, and His discipline is part of love, in order to inspire obedience which brings about blessing.
Sin will bring consequences. If I haven’t felt them yet, my assumption can’t be that God is long-suffering; giving me unlimited opportunities to repent before I face the captivity of sin. There are limits to rebellion. And God would always prefer me to turn away from iniquity because I’ve strained my relationship with Him, not because my choices have brought me to a place of great distress.
Today, some have already begun to notice the unraveling of their lives due to sin. Perhaps the disease of their own ungodly traits have become evident in those around them. The mirror is ugly. Addictions are often passed on to children. Immorality visits the next generation. Control, rage, obsessive behaviors, these and other vices can manifest themselves in the innocence of youth. The captivity of my own sin affects those I love and then the need for God’s healing and restoration becomes complicated. It’s not too late, but it will take more prayer, more time, and a bigger miracle.
In my stubbornness, I’ve often waited too long to turn around. I want to listen to Your instruction the first time. I am prone to wander. Save me. Amen