I learned something today about how sometimes we take God’s grace for granted sometimes. We went shopping today at a store, which shall be nameless to protect privacy. Two things happened, which made me reflect on the prospect of not knowing the rules, and just getting by and knowing the rules and being prevented from future mistakes. I’ll start with the coupon for “Tree-Nuts”.
For the past 2 weeks we have been getting store brand trail mix, in 24 oz package, with a coupon for tree-nuts in same brand in the same 24 oz. Both weeks the computer at the cashier wouldn’t let the coupon work, but we found grace through the cashier who just made a decisive decision and just let us have the trail mix for the discount for the tree-nuts. This week we got a different flavor, but the same thing – a 24 oz container of trail mix, but then the cashier and the manager wouldn’t let us get discount for it. My dad tried to debate with them saying they’re still tree-nuts, but this time as much as we tried to we didn’t get the discount.
There’s a discount we were told of by someone who worked in the store, that if you bring in plastic bags for the groceries, as we understood it, that you would get a discount for every plastic bag you bring in. Turns out we were wrong, the store policy is actually if we bring in fabric bags then we would get a discount per bag. This whole time since around September, which would be like two or three months we’d been bringing in the same plastic bags, and every time the cashiers would allow us to have discount on the bags we were bringing in. They probably only once tried to mention it to us, but we were still ignorant. So today we found out we were wrong. There was no real harm done, but I particularly learned a very important lesson about the walk of faith.
What was to be learned from this? We were unintentionally deceived because of our lack of knowledge. This whole time, we’d been getting away with things we shouldn’t be getting away with. Had the rules changed? No. But what did change? What changed is that we found out we did not know the whole truth. We only had part of it. We had been getting grace and favour in our shopping, but then that all stopped today. But we were informed for the better, so that we can make the right choices, like decide to pay full price for the trail mix anyway or start bringing in fabric bags, so we could change and adapt to the situation.
How does this apply to the Bible? This is not to bring any condemnation whatsoever because there is no condemnation in Christ, but sometimes knowing the rules helps. Knowing the foundation helps. Knowing the roots helps. Knowing what the Bible has to say about the Law in the Bible helps. The Bible says “My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge,” referring to the LORD. Not knowing what the WORD of God has to say about a certain issue can bring us to a point where we are walking by blindly, and just sliding by, by the hair of our teeth. We may just be barely making it, or “scarcely saved”, as the Bible puts it. Some of us are beyond that, and we know that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, but there are others, and if it’s you read this you know it’s you, are one step away from falling to the point, that grace can’t pick you up. It’s happened in the Bible before like with Esau when he sold his birthright, and with Saul when he sought the LORD, and He could not be found. There are those times, “The Silent Years”, or the times when you are clinging on to the last hope that you have. That it seems like everyone has turned against you, and even the crowd that was for you is now against you. To those people, and you know it’s you God still has a plan in all this – He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 The Scripture in this passage are about the captives that were carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon. It was about the elders, prophets, and priests, that were being yanked out of their homeland, and sent to live in a foreign land. God brought them back didn’t He. He will get you through this time, but you have to make the effort to invest time in God’s WORD, and get to the point where you begin to know the zoe (or abundant kind of life) that God has for you. Don’t give up now you brothers and sisters.
For those if you, which it doesn’t apply, for those of you who are walking right with God, know this – that the closer you to get to God and His WORD, and an intimate relationship with Him, you will come to that point where you cannot sin and you do not want to sin because you first don’t want to be operating out of love, and you know that you abide in Christ and Christ abides in you….This is not saying that we are Christ, but it is saying that we are at the level that the world around us, is only a place where we can shine the light of Christ, and be a blessing to other people. We can get to that point where we realize that even though we were sinners Christ died for us, and allowed His Holy Spirit, and like Benny Hinn said, “that it is only skin that is separating us from Christ”, but before we get there it is a refining process and it may hurt, it may have ups and downs. I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten to the point where I see God in everything. It’s like what David said in Psalm 139:8 – “If I ascend into heaven, You are there, if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there,” and the vs. that says that “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”
As I was reading Psalm 139, I found the part that says, “Such knowledge is so high, I cannot attain it.” That is so true. The God of this universe, our LORD GOD, our Heavenly Father, and Blessed Trinity, knows everything from each and every detail with such an intricacy. Nothing that we do, say, think, or feel is a surprise to Him. He knows us beyond anything. At the end of this Psalm it says, “Search my heart, know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me.” Because He knows you so well, you don’t have to be afraid, He’s right there, it’s not like He didn’t know that you were going to sin, because He foreordained everything from the foundation of the world, but when times go by when you’ve been taking Him for granted, and the things that He has done for you for granted, is when you have to go back to realize all that He has done for you and just appreciate Him.