Gambling With Your Life

Why do some people refuse to give in to God, no matter how hard things get for them? You'd think they'd realize they need God and turn to Him, but they don't. We all know someone (or many) who is doing this. It just doesn't make sense for people to turn their back on God when they obviously need Him -- yet it happens all the time. God loves them and wants to help them, but they still stubbornly refuse to turn to Him.

I have a friend, who I will grant you, has walked through some tough times. She feels as if God failed her, but she cannot see that it was she who made a series of terrible decisions, which lead to an ill-advised marriage that did not stand a chance, and lasted only a short time. Since then, she has blamed the church and blamed God, and is traveling down a road of self-destruction at breakneck speed. She is living a life that is unraveling as she bounces from man to man, all of whom she meets while drunk... and the man is drunk... and they end up sleeping together and the only things they have in common is drunkenness and sex. And she cannot seem to figure out what the problem is. And with every new pain, she blames God further for her fragmented and troubled life. She cannot see that God has never failed her, nor has he ever left her. Rather, it is she that has left God. She knows better, but she expects God to bless her in the midst of her partying lifestyle. Meanwhile, God is patiently waiting, right where he has always been. She fails to see that it is possible that God may even be using these circumstances to try to get her attention... to draw her back to the right path. Yet she still refuses to listen or turn from her ways. This is nothing new, nor is she alone. People like my friend are just like the people of Jeremiah's day. Jeremiah 11:8 says, "They did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts." Sadly, because of this, their nation was eventually destroyed.

My friend is just like thousands of others in this life.... wallowing in their pity and brokenness... and blaming God all the while. 
What is the problem? Why are people like this? The problem can be put in one word: pride. I speak of this issue all the time in my church... saying that, "all sin begins with "I."  The problem for people like my friend is that she thinks she can get by without God. She's trying to prove how tough or strong she is, and it is probably that she may even think it's a sign of weakness to admit she needs God or the church. But pride blinds us to reality.  We fail to see our own faults, and it also makes us stubbornly cling to our own ways. My friend often brags about all the drinking she is going to do, or has done, and then talks about how bad she feels physically... often for days... and to her, it is almost like a badge of honor as she is really saying, "look how bad I am suffering" and knowing she will do it again... and again. Her heart is broken and her spirit crushed. She has spoken to me about how she is "damaged goods" and that no good man would ever want her now. That speaks volumes to me. She is secretly ashamed of her life, yet she has found a group that accepts her as she is... because they are just like each other... using one another emotionally and physically.  The sad thing is that the further she slips down this slope, the more she damages herself emotionally and spiritually... and even physically.  And the simple truth is, the biggest issue for her is her stubborn pride that keeps her from admitting openly that she hates her life as it is, and that her circle of "friends" are nothing more than users who will abandon her in a heart beat the moment she begins to turn her life back toward God. Such a game of deception Satan plays. My friend thinks she has "friends" but none of them want what is the best for her life. They only want what helps them to feel comfortable in the pig pen of their own lives.

Not long I spoke to this friend about her life and she kept trying to assure me that she was "OK" and that she knew she needed to make her life right with God, and she would... someday. She told me not to worry about her, that she knew the right way and, as she put it, "I'll be back to what I know is right."  So she knows. But she is playing games with God. It is almost like she thinks God understands what she is doing and is OK with it until she comes back. But I say to her (I hope she is reading this) and countless others like her... "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." God does see you... and He does know. He even knows what you are thinking. And I am warning you, you are walking on dangerous ground. Remember dear friend, none of us have the guarantee of tomorrow... or even the next breath. I'm not trying to scare you, just being real with you, because I love you. Don't play this game of yours too long. You are gambling with your life.