Vintage message from July 16, 2000.
I believe that everything God does, God does because He loves us, and He knows what’s the very best for us, even if He has to allow for hard things to happen to our flesh. And sometimes, sometimes it’s this flesh who is our greatest enemy. It’s this flesh that gets in the way. The devil doesn’t make me do it! And you know, we want to blame him for everything. The devil doesn’t make me do the things that I do. I choose to do them. I can choose to say no to the devil just as I choose to say no to God. And it’s this flesh of mine that gets in the way so often that I end up falling away from God, and I become this double-minded, tossed-about Christian. And so God says, “Okay, I will do what’s best for you. I will make that flesh that is causing you to make wrong choices [to] suffer a little bit. I’ll get its attention.” Because, you know, one day this flesh will be stripped away. We will be given new bodies. Bodies that are not corrupted as this flesh is corrupted. And the only thing that matters to God is what choice do we make while we’re in this flesh to have relationship with Him…
We make all kinds of excuses for why it’s okay for us to live those moments of godlessness that we live, but understand, God loves us so much that He is willing even to inflict pain on our flesh to get our attention…. Every time you study, every time you read, if you will preface that study with, “God is love…,” and everything God does is out of loving response for the people that He’s created. And if we suffer, it’s not because God hates us. It’s not because God is vengeful. It’s not because God enjoys standing up there zapping us with lightning… He’s simply saying, “I want relationship with you. I love you, and I’m the only God there is, and to seek after these other “gods” is useless for you so, therefore, I will get your attention.”
Pastor Dave Elkins