I love it when I can take the easy way out. Life is so hard at times until it’s such a relief when you're strolling down easy street. Easy does it! I take the easy way whenever I can. Sometimes the easy way for me is the hard way to do things. I easily decided not to complete my science fair project and to simply 'take' a zero, which would leave me with a comfy C as a final grade. Not doing a project was easy, but that way could have been hard on my academic success. Mom to the rescue! Let’s just say that a project magically appeared in the nick of time. Disaster averted. Completing the project was actually the easy way, but I chose the hard way thinking it would be the easy way out. Why is it that we take the hard road, the difficult way? Spiritually, it’s the same. It's so hard to take the 'easy' way and so very easy to take the 'hard' way. .
Proverbs 13:15 says, "Good understanding giveth favor, but the way of the transgressors is hard." This phrase was looped in my spirit. I kept hearing, "the way of the transgressor is hard." I always assumed that the transgressor was the unbeliever until I studied a bit more about the transgressor. The transgressor acts covertly, under a cloak or garment to deceive and plunders ruthlessly. The transgressor is likened unto an adulterer, one who is deceitfully unfaithful in covenant relationship. The transgressor is deceitful, offends others, departs (or will bounce in a minute), treacherous and unfaithful. The transgressor is not a stranger to God. He is in relationship with God. The transgressor is the leader who refuses to submit to authority, the stubborn usher, the resentful Sunday school teacher, the bitter preacher & the angry worship leader. The transgressor is the person who shows up each week as a worshipper all the while having a love affair with stubbornness, disobedience and unforgiveness.
The way of the transgressor is hard because, according to Malachi 2, God disfavors them. He does not receive their offerings and He does not bless their efforts. Life without the favor of God is hard. God actually tells them that He will curse their blessings! Now that's hard! His ultimate desire for His people, His purpose for their existence is to give glory to His name. He warns that those who insist on living for their own pleasure, who deceitfully pretend to be in an "all in" relationship with Him, yet willfully disobey or are unfaithful in their devotion, them He will curse. If you do not "hear" and "lay it to heart", God rejects you and your offering. Life for you becomes harder than it ever needs to be.
So often we hear a Word preached or taught that makes us cringe inside. We don't want to hear it. We don't want to hear "forsake all" or "submit to authority". We loathe the giving messages and wish we can disappear when we discover the topic of today's lesson is obedience. But it is in those moments that our faithfulness is tested most. Will we respond like a transgressor, unwilling to "lay to heart" the word of The Lord? Or, do we respond with openness of heart? Will we take the easy way, the way of submission to Gods way of doing things or the hard way? Going it alone in your own strength, by your own means without God's favor is HARD! So take the easy way...
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