Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
In current society this principle is either forgotten or steadfastly ignored. Thinking about it, it’s amazing that so many people think they can ignore a fundamental principle of the universe. It’s rather like ignoring gravity! A commentator I really like calls it “magical thinking,” and it is sadly endemic. That is, “If I feel this way, or if I want it badly enough, then that’s the way it is.” To use Paul’s phrase, that’s mocking God, or trying to at any rate. Paul is quite correct that such efforts cannot succeed. You don’t have to be a theologian, much less a genius, to recognize a lot of things about God’s creation. Ignoring those things, or trying to, is an open invitation to personal destruction, just as it says here. Like Paul wrote to the Romans, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) Magical thinking will get you nowhere, but seeking God and obeying Him will get you “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
I don’t know that I’ve actively mocked God, but I’ve certainly ignored what I knew He had said many, many times, and that falls under what Paul says here. That’s why I know I’m totally dependent on the grace of God. I am to press in to know more of God and be quick to repent when I slip up, but at the same time I’ve got to remember that forgiveness is real, and fully effective if we will allow it to be. 1 John 1:9 is very famous, but at the same time I don’t think we really grasp all it means in practical terms. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God’s forgiveness isn’t just removing a penalty, it’s removing the offense! Jesus’ younger brother Jude only left one short letter as part of the New Testament, but he wrote something that resonates deeply in my spirit, courtesy of Don Francisco and the song he wrote from it: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25) As a pastor, I need not only to remember that for myself, but also to communicate it to all to whom I minister, because it is an essential part of the Gospel. We reap what we sow, yes, but the glorious Good News is that Jesus has provided the only way out of what otherwise would be a hopeless situation.
Father, thank You for this clear reminder. I can think of several people who are probably in need of this right now. Help me communicate it effectively so that the lies of the devil may be exposed and defeated and people be set free to walk in all that You have for them, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!