I have been experiencing something that I knew was very important, but I have learned first hand how serious it is for Believer's to keep their word, say what they mean and do what they say. This may seem trivial to many, but from a spiritual perspective it is very important.
We have been in a long process of having a front porch added to our home. Two ministers from a church we attend are the contractors. The building permit was acquired on Feb. 9 of this year. Prior to construction I was told by one of the fellows that it would take perhaps three weeks to build the structure. This was over 90 days ago!
Our winter here has been very mild. Weather has been favorable for construction. Days would go by with no contact with the minister in charge. Telephone calls were not returned. Dead silence. Work days consisted of as little as two hours, then absence. The longest work day was perhaps four or five hours. Three different times I was told that in another week or two the construction would be completed.
I would pretty much expect this from a general contractor; many are prone to stretching the truth, fudging the figures, or whatever nice phrase one would want to put on it. I call it lying. I am approaching this from the perspective on one who does not know Christ, and one who is watching those who say that they do know Him. I am concerned!
I have heard these fellows say with great confidence that they have heard from the "Holy Ghost", He tells them what to preach, what to say, and what to do. Is the "Holy Ghost" present when they say they will do something and they do not follow through with what they say? Most believe that cursing, using God's Name before saying "damn" is using the LORD'S name in vain. I believe that it goes much deeper than that. Speaking one concept with our lips and doing the opposite in our daily lives is also using His Name in vain. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. What is truly in us comes out on a daily basis. Thank God for forgiveness!
I am learning the importance as a follower of Jesus that my yes be yes, and my no be no. Say what I mean, do what I say. If I am not able to do so, or live up to what I have said I need to notify the other parties as soon as possible.
It is as if some Believer's feel they are not accountable to others. "God will forgive me, all I have to do is ask...." This is no way to live; it sets a very bad example and shows a lack of credibility both in business and our personal relationships. This whole affair has made everything the other person says suspect. If one is so lax in their daily accountability to others, what are they really hearing from God?
There are two verses that have come to mind over the past month that address this issue. One is found in Psalm 50:21. It says, "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes..."
One of the things God is saying here is that we thought He was just like us! He will understand. We are not accountable nor do we have to answer to anyone. God keeps silence during these times; hoping we will come to our senses, repent and change our ways. If we do not, He will reprove us.
Another verse with this concept of thinking everything is o.k., that the "Holy Ghost" understands and overlooks our actions is found in Isaiah 50:11, it says, "Behold, all of you who kindle a fire,m that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow."
It is as if God is saying you have decided who I am, you have kindled your own fire to walk by, go ahead then, walk by your fire, your revelation of who I am. But, you will eventually lie down in sorrow because it was not Me who was leading you; you would never listen! You did not obey! You did not do what I said or live by My principals for life; you made your own, saying it was of Me!
My prayer through this whole experience; "God forgive me for the times I have lied; not misspoke, but outright lied. Forgive me for using my words loosely and not do what I said I was going to do. Forgive me for saying one thing and doing another; for the times I speak of You then do what is not pleasing to You. Forgive me for using Your wonderful Name in vain.
Fill my heart with forgiveness, grace and mercy. We are all on a learning curve and need to be receptive to the leading's of God in our lives.