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Monday, September 28, 2009

Is God Ever Bothered by Us?

God enjoys His children coming to Him. We can come to Him in need. We can come to Him in praise. We can come to Him the smallest of things (like, Lord, help me write this blog) or great things (Lord, my friend will die of cancer if you don't heal him). No prayer is too large or too small. He is our God. He loves us.

However, that doesn't mean that He isn't bothered by us. Joshua came to God after his army is defeated by the little town of Ai. They had a great victory at Jericho. God had given them this victory. Joshua must have thought that nothing would stand between his people and the Promised Land. The defeat set him back and he went to God to gripe about it. God told him to stop bothering Him.

Isaiah wrote that God was being bothered when they came to worship. He said that God was not interested in their sacrifices and observations of holy days. God didn't want to hear it anymore.

So, why was God bothered? In each case there was disobedience to Him. In each case the disobedient were going on as if things were just fine. God is bothered with us when we try to pull a fast one on Him. He is bothered when we think we can continue to have a close relationship without doing what He has said.

I have struggled with the story in the book of Joshua for some time. Joshua didn't know that Achan had taken some of the things intended for God. He assumed that everyone had been obedient. Thirty-six of Joshua's men were killed when the people of Ai defeated his army. Did any of these thirty-six men know about Achan's sin?

It seems that God holds us accountable for making sure there is complete obedience. We can't simply say, "I think I have done everything You wanted, Lord," and go on with our business. We must say, "Search me, Lord, and see if there is anything that I have not done which you commanded. Search me and tell me what I have done that I shouldn't have done. I will repent for I want to be completely Yours." This, too, could be bothering God if you already know there is something and you have not dealt with it. No one pulls the wool over God's eyes.

So, are you bothering God?

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