Have you ever tried to make a deal with God? Have you said something like, “OK God, if you will do this for me I will follow You closer or I will cut back on a certain sin if only You will help me out and grant my prayer request.”
I have done that in the past, but, thankfully I have not done it in a long time. However I have to admit the thought has crossed my mind a few times in the past years. When that thought comes to me it is usually when something very serious is going to happen in my life and I am unsure of the outcome and I need extra help from God. Fortunately, I have been able to ignore the thought of making a deal with God and rely on my faith, as I should, to carry me through.
The thought of making a deal with God passed through my mind just recently but I did not let it take possession of my thoughts and returned to my faith. You see, I am going to have major surgery in the next few days and I was a little worried about the possibility of becoming paralyzed. Dying is “OK” because I would be with Jesus, but being paralyzed is another thing. Instead of trying to make a deal with God I chose to rely on my faith in Jesus, trusting that He will be with me whatever happens. I turned my cares over to Him and now I am comfortable with my situation. What a blessing it is to be able to put all my cares on Him!
What prompted the thoughts of making a deal with God is the fact that I feel like Paul when I sin. Romans 7:15 “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” And I can’t get my thoughts (that sometimes turn to actions) to reflect the way Christ wants me to think. The $64,000.00 question for me is, “How do I conform my thoughts to reflect what is right and pure?”
Well, God, in His wisdom, led me to church Sunday and Pastor Scott’s message answered that question for me. To put it briefly, I need to control my thoughts as much as I possibly can.
To do this I need to follow the guidelines in Philippians 4:8-9 and meditate and think on the things listed. Philippians 4:8-9 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
I also need to change my attitude. Philippians 2:5 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
And continue to work on changing the way I think. Romans 12:1-2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
As I learn to do these things I will no longer be tempted to consider making a deal with God, I will walk closer with Him, and I will be growing into the person He wills me to be.
One last comment. We can change our brain by actively living out the 8 principals of Philippians 4:8. I pray that I will constantly strive to do just that. Ho about you?
Dios te bendiga (God bless you),