Last night I came across a video on IGTV, also known as Instagram TV, and it was quite convicting for me. It was made by Lavoisier Cornerstone of Grow The Heck Up, a Christian infoedutainment platform that I’m a content contributor for, and he was speaking to the “people who claim they want more.” Take a look at the clip below.
In a short summary, he talked about individuals who say they want something more or have an idea that they’re excited about, and things haven’t changed six months or so after. I’ve been guilty of this, and it’s something that I’m still battling to change. I have this habit of saying, “I want to,” instead of saying, “I’m going to.” The reason why this is very important is because the weight of my word changes with one word changed.
I’ve always been an advocate for integrity, and giving my word, yet this has been an area I’ve fallen short in. More ways than I’d like to admit. Don’t get me wrong, I know that we all struggle between the desire to do great things in our lives and the discipline needed, so I won’t condemn myself for this. I’ve accomplished amazing things this year, and I’m so grateful for the desires God has placed in me. But in this season where God continues to prune the areas of my life that are unfruitful, this is the difficult part of pruning, where I see the unfruitful parts of me as He cuts them away.
To be specific, I’ve spoken to those I’m close to in life about things that I wanted to do this year that have yet to be done. Things like completing my book, having my work published in media outlets like Vox, and other desires I’ve expressed this year. Have I been able to accomplish awesome things this year? Absolutely! But could I have done more with better discipline? Sure.
It was this moment of reflection that really caused me to think about the relationship between God’s grace and the consequences of bad decisions, undisciplined habits, or anything else we do that negatively affects us. I will never stop proclaiming how redemptive and restorative Jesus is for us as believers, redemption is in the name of the blog, so how could I? But what I think we need to take more seriously are the practical consequences that still affect us, even when God redeems and shows us grace.
No Promised Land for you Moses
The story of Moses, Israel, and their journey to the Promised Land helps us to see the goodness of God come face to face with the consequences of unbelief, pride, and the lack of discipline. After God sent spies into the Promised Land, the unbelief of the rest of the Israelites kept them from ever entering the land. After Moses reveled in the praises of the people after disregarding the way God commanded him to produce water, God told him that he wouldn’t enter the Promised Land either.
Understand how crazy this looks. Moses spoke face to face with God, yet he experienced the consequences of not doing things God’s way. God was still tremendously gracious to him, even to the point where he continued to occupy a place of honor in the history of Israel, and even spoke with Jesus when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John! Talk about redemption right? He still didn’t make it into the Promised Land. He quite literally missed out on what God promised.
Of course, this is a very scary conclusion to disobedience and unbelief, but the principles around consequences are there for us to grab a hold of. There are things that I have missed out on this year because of things that I did not do. Is my life over with? No, God will continue to get the glory out of every life surrendered to Him, and He continues to work in and through me. But whenever I don’t engage in a life of discipline, vision, and consistency, I’m not shielded from the consequences just because I’m a child of God.
Just like Moses and Israel continued to have their needs met in the face of that judgement, God’s grace still abounds towards us. He will give us the grace to endure the consequences of our bad decisions and lack of discipline. But we may have to still deal with lost opportunities, a longer process, and working through those things.
As we near the end of 2019, into a brand new decade, are there things that you see need pruning? Have you experienced the loving grace of God as you push to break old patterns? I would love to hear your thoughts. Don’t forget to celebrate what God has done this year too!