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Vol.  10  No. 5 May 2008  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

What You Have in Your Mind Shall Never Be

By Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrape

    Have you ever been in the place of being forced to acknowledge that what you had in your mind would never be? How did you respond to that situation upon that realization? Were you made better or bitter? Did you learn anything from it for future experiences in life? Did you ever come to the understanding and acceptance that only what God wants and has in mind really counts? Psalm 115:3 says; “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” That settles any controversy regarding who controls everything and everybody!

    In the prophet Ezekiel’s time, God’s people were practicing idolatry in a most rampant manner. As a result, God told Ezekiel to tell them: “What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’ ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you’” (Ezekiel 20:32-33). God continues in verse 38 by saying, “I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” Apparently, the people did not realize how displeased God had become with their behavior. He plainly told them that their idolatry was not going to be tolerated. This flagrant disobedience they had in their minds was never to be!

   The apostle Peter had a thought in his mind that would never be when Christ was transfigured before him. James and John were also with him on this occasion. During that most magnanimous event and scene, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah—not knowing what he said” (Luke 9:33b). Luke 9:34-35 says, “While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!’” Note verse 33 says Peter did not know what he was saying. As good as it sounded to him, God let Peter know most emphatically that what he had in his mind would never be!

    Because God is God, He lets us all know just what ultimately will be, that His will is at the center of everything. Speaking of God Isaiah 45:12, 18 says; “I have made the earth, and created man on it. It was I, My hands that stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded.” “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

   There are numerous thoughts, ideas, plans and actions that we as human beings have. However, whatever those may be, we must keep them in perspective, always realizing how frail, fragile and uncertain our lives and plans can be. Psalm 146:3-4 tells us, “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.”

    There are three areas in the countless things that could be named that God is telling us, as it were, just as He told the elders and the children of Israel, “What you have in your mind shall never be.” (1) God will never save anyone separate and apart from obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2) God will never forgive us if we refuse to forgive others. (3) God will never answer any of our questions regarding His authenticity, integrity, motives or authority.

    First, God will never save anyone separate and apart from obedience to the Gospel because that was the reason Jesus was sent into this world. We live in a fallen world, and we are all flawed by the three letter word s-i-n. Any person God would allow into heaven not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ would make His death on the cross a lie, and that is never going to happen! Revelation 21:27 says; “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

    John 1:29b declares, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” John states forth rightly in Revelation 1:5b, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” We contact the saving blood of Jesus Christ through our obedience to the Gospel message of salvation, which culminates in our baptism. There are multiplied millions who have in their minds all they need to do to be saved from their sins is faith only.

    Second, God will never forgive us if we refuse to forgive, because while we were still in the ungodly and condemned state of sin, Christ died for us. Jesus said, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:35-37). When Jesus gives us the account of forgiveness and God’s expectations, He ends by saying, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). God’s condition for our forgiveness is based on our forgiving others from our hearts! There are multiplied millions who have in their minds some who they say they will never forgive and will state emphatically their unforgiving spirit.

   Third, God will never answer any of our questions regarding His authenticity, integrity, motives or authority. We as mere humans, subjected to various limits and conditions, have no right! God told Ezekiel to tell the elders, “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I will not be inquired of by you’” (Ezekiel 20:2-3). He repeats this to the children of Israel in the latter part of verse 31; “So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I will not be inquired of by you.’” There are multiplied millions who have in their minds they are justified in trying to call God into question!

    Job had already tried questioning the Almighty in the long ago, and God had simply reminded him of which one of them was God! God asked him in Job 38:2, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Is this without a doubt the smoothest way to tell a person that due to their profound ignorance, they do not know what they are talking about? Then God says in Job 38:3, “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” For the remainder of Job chapter 38 through chapter 41, God hammers Job with questions that he cannot answer!

    In the end, Job admits to God in Job 42:2-6, “I know that You can do everything. And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

May we live long enough to come to this kind of understanding about who God is and how He deals with us! We must strive to make God’s mind our mind and to serve and work in harmony with His revealed Word to us. We must accept what God wants, thinks and knows. We must be committed to God’s right to rule, and convicted that God’s rule is right, because it is impossible for Him to ever be wrong! One thing we do not want is for God to tell us as it were, “What you have in your mind shall never be.” May we pray to develop the attitude and mindset of David when he said in Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

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