Are the consequences my fault?
From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional
Think about all the wise advice you have been given over the years.
Don’t run with scissors.
Drink more water.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Don’t smoke, abuse alcohol or do drugs.
Nothing good happens after midnight.
Don’t abuse credit cards.
The list goes on and on. Now think about the consequences that come from either following the advice or not. Are there any decisions you wish you could go back and do over?
Moses was leading the Israelites to their new home, but time and again, the people did not want to listen to God’s direction. They complained about the wilderness, their livestock dying, the lack of figs to eat and water to drink (Numbers 20:4-5). But their troubles were a direct consequence of their own disobedience and lack of faith. They wanted to choose their own direction, then complained about the consequences that followed.
We can choose our actions but we do not get to choose our consequences. It’s easy to read about the Israelites’ woes and see where they went wrong. It’s far more difficult to see this in our own lives.
The Bible is filled with God’s wise instruction, yet we often stubbornly choose to ignore it, expecting things to turn out OK. Spiritual growth begins when we are willing to face this reality and take responsibility for our own decisions.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
- Are there any decisions you need to take responsibility for today?
- What’s one thing you’ve learned since you started reading the Bible that you can put into practice this week?