Actions and Consequences

Romans 8:28(NKJV) is one among many jewels in the crown of knowledge and wisdom that God has given us. It says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” When we think of this verse, we should try imagining life as one big stirring pot of every kind of circumstance one can imagine; both advantageous, and not so much. If our aim is to please God and to grow closer to Him, no matter how vigorous or slowly we stir the contents of this pot—no matter how heated or lukewarm the contents may be, the ultimate outcome is always going to be something delicious.

Romans 8:28 is God’s guarantee, yet it is often so difficult for many of us to believe, particularly when it comes to crossing paths with the person we will ultimately marry. Some of us can become so emotionally distraught with the ups and downs of dating and misfits, that we’re too exhausted to give ‘hope’ the fighting chance it deserves. There’s a remedy for this, and truly it is the only one that makes any sense. If you’ve been praying and praying, year after year, and it doesn’t feel as if you’ve made significant headway towards the proverbial trip down the aisle, the truth is that indeed you have made strides; perhaps some that you haven’t yet recognized.

fcm-romans-8-28You’ve probably learned quite a bit about what you don’t like and what you’re unwilling to tolerate in the person you want to marry. The depth and meaningfulness of qualities like loyalty, devotion, gentleness, kindness, and affection are probably now more prominent in your pursuit of a Godly partner than those of pretty eyes, dimples, and a full head of hair. But even though you’ve gained this knowledge, still, you can’t fully know from where you stand today the kind of spiritual, emotional, and mental tenacity that it requires for two people to hold a union intact. We all think we know, but really, we have no idea.

The process of spiritual preparation for marriage is an incredibly important subject for anyone desiring to be a spouse. Sometimes we forget that our Heavenly Father has a standard, and His standard is such that all things are going to coagulate, cooperate, and gel together in such a way that our good rises to the top.

This isn’t going to just pop out of nowhere. There’s a human element to this equation, and that means that the Holy Spirit absolutely has to be involved if success is the goal. He, the gift, is going to guide us to the finish line. He’s our teacher, so learning some serious lessons absolutely has to be a part of the equation too. One of the lessons required to be fully and tightly fitted in our arsenal of wisdom and faith is the lesson of Cause and Effect.

Often, it’s not an easy pill to swallow, but swallow it we must because it is simply the way God designed the universe to work; and no matter how much we may not like it at times, the end result will always be to His glory. There is a cause and effect to everything in life, and when you come to understand this, you’ll see the thread of truth that runs through every triumph and defeat of your existence.

Simply put, when your heart is to please God and bless others, not only will you see it reflected in your life, but so will others around you as well. But lest we forget, there’s a flip side to this coin. When you have ugliness in your heart, such as bitterness, anger, and arrogance; situations and people will act as a mirror, reflecting the bad stuff that you really wouldn’t want.

To see this more clearly, consider the message that God gave the prophet, Zephaniah, to give to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Manasseh and his son Amon, notorious idol worshippers, were two of the most wicked kings of Judah and Jerusalem. During their reign the people turned their backs on God, ceased to worship Him, and began to pick up the practices of Manasseh and Amon and worshipped idol Gods. They became a society of people that were corrupt and immoral in every sense of the word.

Zephaniah warned them of “the day of the Lord”, and in Zephaniah 1:2,3, 12-14 (The Message), he gave them a message from Heavenly Father:

2 “I’m going to make a clean sweep of the earth, a thorough housecleaning.” God’s Decree.

3 “Men and women and animals, including birds and fish—Anything and everything that causes sin—will go, but especially people.

12-14 On Judgment Day, I’ll search through every closet and alley in Jerusalem. I’ll find and punish those who are sitting it out, fat and lazy, amusing themselves and taking it easy, Who think, ‘God doesn’t do anything, good or bad. He isn’t involved, so neither are we.’ But just wait. They’ll lose everything they have, money and house and land.

Some of us have imagined that God would leave His throne just to punish these folks for their deplorable and evil behavior, but God designed the universe to hurl back at us the full brunt (and then some) of the stuff that we give it, whether it’s positive or negative. Heavenly Father allows us to live our lives just the way we choose – it’s our free-will choice, and He will not violate it. His love doesn’t shove or push, instead God’s love is pure and kind. It isn’t puffed up nor does His love seek revenge. But if we choose to practice darkness, if we play the game of deceit, then we give the devil the ammunition he needs to throw darts of darkness and deceit back at us; and his darts sting far worse than ours.

When we turn away from God’s love through our actions, our lives begin to deteriorate rapidly, and unless we recognize this our lives will continue to spiral downward. You may ask yourself, “But why would God want His people to suffer?” God doesn’t cause pain and suffering, but He will allow it; and often it is a consequence for disobedience and sin.

There are so many needless divorces out there because couples have refused or neglected to take responsibility for their actions and to be accountable for the hurt they’ve spearheaded by putting the wrong stuff out there. God’s laws dictate that if you keep doing the same things you’re doing; you’re going to keep getting the same things you’re getting. He wants us to know that if we don’t like the consequences we’re getting, we can utilize the power of His love to change them. This is a lesson that must be firmly etched in your heart and mind. When it is, you can have confidence that one day soon you’ll have a marriage where all things will continually work together for your family’s good. ■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“Actions and Consequences” written for©2019.  All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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