Here's a useful construct to remember when you, or a man you're trying to disciple, is struggling because he got, or didn't get, something he thought would make him happy.
God has three "gracious" ways of getting our attention when we want "what He can give us" more than we want Him (the definition of idolatry).
He will either ...
- Withhold the thing we think we cannot live without (an option that requires no explanation)
- Remove the thing we think we cannot live without (He Himself removes "created things" so that the "unshakable" may remain according to Hebrews 12:26)
- Give us so much of what we want that we "gag" on it (picture the Israelites who wanted quail and got so much of it that it made them gag)
When you see, or become, a man off track like this, help him understand that his pain is actually the kindness of God sparing him from self-destruction. It is the grace of God that, if he will embrace it, can lead him home.
Until every church disciples every man...
Patrick Morley is the president of Man in the Mirror Ministries. For the original article, visit patrickmorley.com.
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