The Providence of God and The Failure of Man

 

When the children of God stumble, it may not be an instant total collapse. Behind their failure may lie long term causes, formed through the accumulation of some minor weaknesses or oversight of certain small sins, or giving leeway to the Devil to do a little work. Since Christ prayed for those who belong to Him, that the Heavenly Father would protect them so that they would be one with God, and be delivered from the evil one (John 17:11, 15), as the faithful Lord is our Father, He will keep the children who belong to Him from faltering, and even to present them before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy (Jude 24). Jesus Christ also promised us saying, ¡§I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.¡¨ (John 10:28) The most important thing is whether we, like the sheep, prefer to listen to His (Shepherd¡¦s) voice and follow His footsteps. (John 10:27) If we are used to obeying the Lord¡¦s commands and submitting to His ways, we will surely gain His providence. As well, if we seek eagerly and develop persistently, making our calling and election sure, we will never fall. (2 Peter 1:10)

 

Not only that, if we constantly live in the light of the Lord, we will not falter. For a man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by the light of this world (John 11:9). Also, because the children of God have the love of the Lord, so we have fellowship with one another in the light of God (1 John 1:7), loving one another, and this diminishes the chances of stumbling as well (1 John 2:10). That is by way of the mutual vigilance of each member. Conversely, if we turn away from the glory of the face of God, we will live in the light of our own fires, and casually take our own righteousness in place of the Lord¡¦s, and substitute our own goodness for the Lord¡¦s perfection. Eventually we will bring about our own detriment, as the prophet Isaiah has similarly forewarned (Isaiah 50:10-11).

 

In another perspective, our stumble and failure may stem from not living according to the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit. In many of life¡¦s choices, if we just cater to the flesh a little, follow the flesh a little, the status of the Holy Spirit in our minds will be depreciated, the efficacy of His influence will be diminished, and in the end peace will be lost and corruption generated (Romans 8:6). The genesis of failure may be lack of sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit by the children of God, or the sheer volume of the voice of the flesh within them. It is like some young people who turn the volume of their car stereo way up, so that they are unable to hear the siren of emergency vehicles coming from the outside. Sometimes when temptation arrives, the children of God may lean towards the lusts of the flesh and suppress the influence of the Holy Spirit, putting out the influence of the Holy Spirit as with a fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19). If the children of God frequently do things against God¡¦s will, the Holy Spirit will be grieved for them (Ephesians 4:30). Their consciences will also gradually become numb and unscrupulous, their hearts will become hardened, and Satan will take the opportunity to strike, even entering into the person¡¦s heart, just like King Saul and Judas, who betrayed the Lord (1 Samuel 16:14, John 13:2,27). If man continues to resist the exhortations of the Holy Spirit through his preachers and pastors and persists in following his own course, that is turning away from and despising God, and in the end he will induce God¡¦s discipline. If God¡¦s discipline is espied, at least it shows that the Lord still pities and loves that person. But if His discipline is totally unseen, then it may be feared that the person has completely lost the presence of God, who is allowing him to do as he pleases, and his ending will be even more pitiful.

 

Paul encouraged us by saying; ¡§Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.¡¨ (Galatians 5:25) Therefore, we must always follow the Spirit of God, so that we may be sanctified. At the inaugural ceremony of ex-President Clinton of the U.S., his grandmother did not impart to him any wisdom of governance, just the following words of God: ¡§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.¡¨ (Galatians 6:8) Dear brothers and sisters, if we are to be worthy of the future Kingdom of God, to enjoy the honour and glory of kingship, we must now live in step with the Holy Spirit.

 

By: Daniel To