God gave them over… (Romans 1:24,26,28)
I have found that, generally speaking, people are more controlling than God is.
God is secure in His identity. He is not afraid to allow those whom He loves to walk outside of His intended purpose for them.
That’s because, to Him, there’s purpose even in our wandering.
Separation from God is painful, laborious and depressing. Those qualities, and the many other characteristics of life lived outside of relationship with Him, have a purpose.
My children, and millions like them, have all done what their mom and I told them not to do. The first time they touched the hot wood stove was usually the last time.
After feeling the pain of the burn, they learn that they shouldn’t touch the stove. This is an important lesson but its not the most valuable one.
The great treasure of the burn is the subconscious realization that mom and dad were right. Deep within their spirit is a spawning revelation that they can trust their parents. They really do know, and want, what’s best for me.
Romans 1 is a testimony to this truth. It is clear what God wants and how He designed us to live. When we choose to ignore it, He gives us over to another way of thinking, living.
Just like the wood stove burn, having our own way has painful consequences. The intent of those consequences is to bring us to the revelation that He really is the best for us. His ways do make the most sense. And most importantly – He is trustworthy.
There is a way that is right to a man but its end is death. Along that way are signs, warnings. Too many of us are like the prodigal son who wait until we are jealous of pigs before we wake up.
What man has done is develop a lifestyle that successfully manages the pain of those consequences. We’ve become so accustomed to painful, diseased living that we call it normal. Continuing is such a state is very dangerous.
It is why, statistically speaking, people come to the Lord less and less as they get older. People change less too as they age. Yesterday’s excuses become tomorrow’s accepted truth.
This does not have to be your fate. God allows you your own way for you to see the folly of it. Don’t wait until you’re numb to the pain.
Let the pain have its intended purpose. Let it lead you back to Him.