“The path to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
I don’t know whose quote that is, but I get it. I totally get it.
It used to be that relationship anchored my religious writings, teachings and speeches. But the idea that God placed you and me on this Earth for specific reasons has replaced it. This idea that I, we all, should be participating in finding out that reason is nagging like a gnat buzzing around in my brain.
I remember meeting with a group of people and asking what it’d be like if Jesus had lived longer. What if Jesus just kept healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, raising people from the dead, and preaching the gospel for another ten, a hundred, maybe even a thousand more years? How great would that be? How many lives He could have touched? How much greater would his light have shone? Think of the spiritual possibilities. If Jesus lived longer and did more good things, there’d be little room for doubt about his divinity. If He’d lived a thousand more years, no doubt he is the Son of God.
Sounds great. Much better than the 33 year stint we have that ended with gruesome crucifixion.
I wonder if Jesus ever thought about that while he was here. I wonder if he ever figured that he could do far more good by staying alive and helping people than by dying a shameful, humiliating and debasing death on a cross. It seems reasonable that it may have crossed his mind.
The truth is, God did not have that sort of thing in the cards for Jesus. Jesus’ reason for being on the planet was to be the sacrifice for us all. He was sent here to reveal a way of life that exemplified God’s love through us, and to be the ultimate symbol of God’s love for us. Had Jesus chased the very good intentions of denying the cross for the sake of solving the physical and spiritual problems in the cities he frequented throughout his ministry, He would have missed the point of his ever coming down here.
Like Jesus, we have a reason for being here. A good friend of mine often says, “The path to Hell is marked ‘Heaven.'”
The greatest deceptions do not often take the most evil forms. The devil is just as happy to divert us from our purpose with other good deeds as he is with tempting us with all out sin. He is just as fine with a man meant to pastor a church, forsaking that call in the name of “being a good father” and spending all his time on family. It would be just as well for Satan if Moses had never visited Egypt because he had a family to take care as it would if Moses had simply told God “No!” in pure disobedient, selfish defiance.
The devil doesn’t care why you don’t end up doing what God’s will is for your life. And too often, the devil wins by accepting what is for him the lesser of two evils. Imagine if Billy Graham had never went to preached a word because he spent all his time in a homeless shelter. Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. never spoke on non-violence and instead spent all his time preaching the gospel in his local church? What if Jesus never went to the cross, but was still alive today, healing, preaching and raising the dead in Israel? Where would we be?
Everybody has a part to play in God’s kingdom. There are sermons a plenty about finding purpose and calling coming from pulpits all the time. But has the church considered that maybe it’s in the way of people’s actually participating in their calling because they are too busy with good-intentioned alternatives? Hmmm… it’s something to think about. Don’t you think?
What “good things” are standing in the way of fulfilling God’s call on your life?
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