“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22 NIV)
Like any good parent, God is more than a one-dimensional parent. He can stern, but also kind. His sternness appears when we disobedient children won’t conform to His ways. For those who are quick to obey, they receive the benefits of His kindness.
If we remember when we were kids, most of us wanted to receive the benefits from being a good kid. Kind words from parents, privileges, and even special treats–the benefits of being obedient. Few of us–if normal–ever wanted to be on the receiving end of a parent whose anger was directed at us because of disobedience. There is no pleasure in the benefits of disobedience if the result was a loss of privileges, being grounded or severely punished (not abused).
What makes us think that God does not operate in the same manner? He does. The benefits He has for us are immeasurable when we are obedient, but the punishment for disobedience, could be a little difficult to handle. But in the midst of His sternness, grace abides–providing us room to improve our attitudes and behavior, becoming obedient and being brought back into a position to receive His benefits.
However, if we continue to disobey, He will cut us off and leave us to fend for ourselves. He told the prophet Jeremiah to stop praying for people because He would not hear his prayers. I don’t know about you, but I never want to think He is not hearing my prayers because I’ve been disobedient. I do not want Him to cut me off!
Walking through this journey called life leaves us in position to make many choices. We can choose to follow the straight and narrow path and receive His guidance and benefits or we can take the broad path, depending upon the guidance and counseling of man and get cut off from God’s benefits. Which will it be for you?
Following the crowd–going along to get along will get a person cut off from receiving God’s best in their lives. Don’t let Him cut you off!