I have recently been reminded, very loudly, that having the best of intentions in living for Christ, is of little value, if we do not properly execute those intentions. In 20 years of following Christ, I can say, that I have consistently done my best to live for Jesus according to His word and as led by His Spirit. In 20 years He has enabled me to live with others in mind before myself (huge miracle for I was totally selfish)–Jesus has enabled me to be aware of others who were in need of the truth of Christ, even when I was hurting or less than my best–by the Holy Spirit, when wrong, He has led me to do my best to make it right. This is not an illustration of my goodness, but in praise of Him, because He changed my heart. I have lived with the best of intentions, but alas, the best of intentions is not good enough.
(Hebrews 12:1) “therefore seeing you are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which easily entangles us, and run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…“
This was one of the first passages I committed to memory when I began to meditate on God’s word. I have attempted to live its precepts with the best motive and intention for 20 years. Yet, I have failed, at times, forgetting the witnesses looking on–while getting tired by the weight I have not fully taken off–or tripping over the sin, I thought I had previously overcome. Though having the best of intentions, my lack of execution in the power of God’s Spirit is what has to often been seen. I wonder if you can equate?
Walking in this fashion a little or a lot gives poor testimony to Jesus, and allows others to disregard the truth we speak as gospel, no matter how much we lay it on them. Of course, those who will reject the truth based on another person’s poor testimony or sincere efforts which fall short are inclined to refuse it anyway; as they are looking for an excuse. Regardless of their disposition, when we fail we can give the enemies of the Lord a reason to blaspheme. Yet also, though not wanting to admit it, there are times where our lack of execution hurts the least of these His brethren and that is a perilous thing indeed (Luke 17:2).
I am thankful, that God is merciful and forgives the truly repentant, yet we must understand that our lack of execution, even with the best of intentions, has far reaching ramifications. Let’s not forget king David, “a man after God’s own heart”. After an adulterous affair, where David was exposed by a prophet and repented, he still had to deal with the far reaching affects of his sin…
(2 Samuel 12:13-14) And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
(2 Samuel 12:10-11) Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house;
David’s was a blessed life, but with regret, for the few things he lacked execution in concerning the will of the Lord. I have regret and you have regret. Most likely we have not committed murder or adultery as he did, but we have abused others with our tongue, practice spiritual adultery at times, refused to obey the word of God at other times, and been far too ignorant for far to long concerning strongholds and sin, which ought to be apparent. In short, we have had the best of intentions and sometimes been careless about execution, as God words declares we can an are to live.
Lets redouble our efforts in being led by the Holy Spirit, to avoid further regret. Let’s live with the best of intentions from God’s word–Refuse to give in to our flesh in moments of weakness and wait on Him for strength. Those who live for God with the best of intentions and blow the execution are forgiven, if they continue in the faith. But alas, they may live a life weighed down with regret, at the loss accrued because of their failures. Let us remember that He has given us all we need for live life and godliness, that we live free of regret.