In reading “The Jesus I Never Knew”, by Phillip Yancy some time back, I was brought to some new realizations about how Jesus must feel when we humans are misled and confused about who He is and even the decisions and choices we make daily.
Because of God’s choice to allow us free will and dominion here on earth, His hands are tied, quite often, from intervening when someone makes a disastrous choice or is deceived by Satan into false beliefs or life views. Unless one who is submitted to Him and willing to be used in such intervention, sometimes – perhaps even often – God can’t change the circumstance or situation because of the human choices that led to that situation or circumstance. I’ve known that, but hadn’t really thought about how it must make Him feel to see those things happen that lead people astray and be unable to do anything about it because there is no appropriate ‘tool’ at hand to use to fix it. He could do something, if a submitted believer was open and being obedient to step up and say or do something to present the choice at the time, or in the manner, that would forestall Satan’s deceptive persuasion.
I realized that sometimes I am too passive in that I don’t present the options directly in a situation. I assume – perhaps in error – that non-believers I consider friends have chosen to believe, or not believe, and act or not act, as they do with full and accurate understanding of the choices they are making. Making the choice is absolutely their right, but without full disclosure, as it were, their choice is often made based on misleading information – which of course was Satan’s plan all along.
I need to be more cognizant of situations in which, if I allow Him to, God will reveal to me opportunities to present the real choices when a friend is on the cusp of important decisions and may not even realize it. True, there are risks involved in those kinds of discussions – we may alienate someone, but we may also be instrumental in helping them see a situation with new eyes, the eyes of truth instead of Satan’s deceptions. It requires close attention to the Holy Spirit to know how and when to speak, but if I don’t, who will? How does it make Jesus feel to know that person could have made a different decision, one based on truth, if I had spoken up? How will I feel, if, in the hereafter, I realize that if only I had spoken this or that person’s whole life would have been different, because of the outcome of that one choice?
It’s frightening to consider that we do have that kind of opportunity – and responsibility – to our friends and loved ones. How many times have I already failed to present the truth? Something to think about. Not with condemnation and despair, but knowing we are forgiven for our failures. We just need to do better in the future – with God’s help!