I enjoy playing board games. I have learned that the more you play a board game the more you learn about the different approaches to winning. You even gain the ability to take a “poor hand” and make it into something. It is the multitude of games with different challenges and learning from the experience of others via help resources that you become competent at the game. Well, the game of life is no different except with one big difference. The Creator of the game has offered His perspective in a strategy guide known as the Bible!
One of the challenges of life is coming to the place of embracing that there are no shortcuts in the game of life. There are no “Get Out of Jail Free Cards!” Just as water runs downhill, we too are wired naturally to take the path of least resistance. These seeming shortcuts appear to get us ahead but are actually setbacks in life. Just ask someone that has bought into a get rich scheme, cheated on a test, or even tried to remake their physical appearance. These and many other well-worn shortcuts only result in disappointment. The reason these don’t work is because of Life’s Designer’s design for a meaningful life.
Listen to His advice, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) If you will allow me to oversimplify this, He is saying there are no short cuts in life! The term here for deceived means to be tricked into believing a lie. We live in a culture that rejects God’s truth for many lies. It could be an attack on God’s design for marriage to God’s design for financial management. The sad reality is also that many followers of Jesus are tricked as well. They choose not to listen to the creator’s helps nor will they listen to the experience of those that have learned the truth the hard way.
Our shortcuts are nothing more than our choice to do life our way rather than God’s way. This is what it means to “mock” God. It is to say to Him, “I’m gonna show you!” But the sad consequence of these choices are like planting seeds from weeds that when they mature reveal the truth, a broken and empty life. “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8) I want you to notice the word “but.” It is a word that means that there is another option. It is when we follow Jesus’ teaching that we plant seeds that lead to a harvest in life.
I guess the question we need to ask ourselves each day is this, “Am I going to be a follower of my own game strategy or the Creator’s?” “Am I going to plant seeds that lead to corruption or life?” Think about this today when you are faced with the choice of obeying God or obeying yourself.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson