I am betwixt two opinions, either to title this write up ‘Consequences’ or ‘There shall be no loss’. I’m sure you won’t have been in the body of Christ for too long before listening to a message titled ‘There shall be no loss’. You can expect the text to be from the story of the shipwreck Paul suffered as a prisoner en route Rome, to appear before Ceasar to whom he had appealed his case from King Agrippa, being prosecuted by the Jews for preaching Christ.
But, looking again into the story in Acts 27, and in the light of messages these days that seem to be telling us that it is inconsequential to make spiritual mistakes, make wrong spiritual decisions or even commit sin. I opted for the title ‘consequences’.
One of the fundamental laws and principles of life is the law of consequences. How I wish it doesn’t exist, but if wishes are Ferraris, everyone will own one. Definitely, consequences are real. We can’t wish them away. They can bring gains and they can bring losses. Under certain circumstances, there shall be big losses as a result of consequences.
We all know how the world is made to run with very little margin of error. Precision runs this world. If the earth is a few hundred kilometres nearer or further away from the sun, it’ll become inhabitable. The law of nature tells us that actions and reactions are always equal and opposite. The law of seed time and harvest tells us we reap what we sow. This is a fundamental fact. If we run against the principles of nature, we pay dearly for it.
But the modern society is sort of telling us otherwise. We are being told, there isn’t a right or a wrong answer to any question or situation. Of course, it’s not true. But the quest of the world to make everyone feel good, and not to feel guilty for being wrong, those who drive social narratives and perspectives hypocritically project such thoughts while in their own businesses and lives, they stick to the rules and the principles concerning the things they have to do so as to continue to enjoy success.
It isn’t everything that can be done that brings success, in fact, more decisions will bring disasters than bring successes. The truth about things is discrete and particular, not broad spectrum but errors about an issue are limitless. If the colour of an object is white, error about its colour is countless and the probability of picking any of the wrong colours is always high, yet it may carry serious consequences.
Apostle Paul told the management of the ship the centurion boarded them on, that the voyage was going to be of great disaster. But to them, Paul was not qualified to tell them so. He was a tentmaker, turned lawyer of the Jewish religion, then to a preacher of Christ and by the time of the journey, a prisoner. To them, what did he know? But I believe Paul was talking by the Spirit of God. They refused to listen until they got into trouble. They lost the ship and their goods but, for Paul, God had mercy and saved their lives. None died. It happened that eventually it was Paul who later dictated what went on in the ship, because they later learned by experience to listen to what he had to say for their success.
We can’t just do as we like without following God’s word and leading into His perfect will and still expect that there won’t be consequences. There will be and it doesn’t affect God’s love for us.
If we choose not to be born again, or after being born again we choose to continue to live our lives as if we are still in the world, there shall be consequences.
It may be that we made a wrong marital or career decision, there shall be consequences. I have heard from quite a number of preachers that you can’t marry the wrong person, sorry, it’s not true, you can and there shall be consequences. It is less said however concerning businesses and careers, but it is equally true that we make mistakes in decisions making in businesses and the consequences are real.
What does this tell us? It tells us that we should heed warnings. It tells us we should consider all the pieces on the board before making that tempting move. It tells us to consider the consequences of our errors before lunging forward, and to ask ourselves if we are able to bear the consequences. These are basic questions of life’s responsibilities and accountability.
It is foolhardy to think that because God loves us, we won’t face the consequences of not following His leading. See, if we offend God, He forgives but facing the consequences is a different issue. He saved the people in that ship because of Paul, but not without losses. They should have listened to Paul and it was so written without Paul gloating.
It was the same with Adam and Eve, yet, even till date, many still blame God and ask why He planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil within their reach, even if they were warned of the consequences.
Our mistakes don’t make God love us less, but He warns us to avoid those mistakes, He built within us the New Creation loaded with His nature of righteousness, His law of righteousness, the gift of righteousness and His Spirit to lead us in the path of righteousness. We are adequately equipped not to commit sin and be perfect, even as our heavenly Father is perfect because God knows that consequences are real and they can bring losses, even the loss of life.
He will forgive us, and forget but the consequences of our actions remain with us for His mercy to manage and His grace to restore which we shouldn’t take for granted, and that’s if the consequences didn’t terminate life immediately without giving a chance for repentance.
It sounds scary but it should help us not to be flippant with the way we live our lives and make decisions. It should help us to look well before leaping and to trust God more to lead us by His word and Spirit. There is a way that seems right, but the end is destruction, but with God we can always avoid it.
I pray our consciousness be awakened, to always remember that God has His own choice in every decision we are to make and to seek that choice, yielding to His nudging and following where He leads.