No Fooling

 

©Jeanne E Webster

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“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”  Matthew 6:24

Decisions—decisions—decisions.  Why are we burdened with “yes or no” answers?  Why can’t we just put aside the undesirable questions?  We can!  But in putting aside the things we dislike, we make a decision just the same.

We cannot be fat and thin at the same time; we cannot go east and west at the same time.  We must make decisions one way or the other.  It is the same with God.  Peace with Him is impossible unless we make a decision.  Either we are for Him or we are against Him.

Henry Van Dyke’s story, The Mansion, has a very accurate commentary on this topic.  “The rich man had his mansion on earth but when he reached heaven he only had a tiny hut.  The poor man found to his surprise that he had a mansion in heaven.  Why?  He had forwarded all the necessary materials.”

Earthly Wealth or Heavenly Wealth—the issue cannot be straddled or evaded.  Our lives must find its mastery, and you and I must make the decision.    ~Bill Webster

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My father wrote the above story many years ago; I found it the other day while rummaging through papers.   Rereading it brought back so many memories, some of them I’m ashamed to relate.  Dad was my best friend and mentor and God used him to redirect my path in life.  I was struggling with a difficult marriage and a past-embittered divorce, all the while seeking to keep my head and spirit above water.  God used my dad to gather me into the fold, slowly but oh so gently. 

Leaning toward repentance yet staying my sight on my practice of swearing and cussing, I so badly wanted to please Dad with the idea that he helped save me from hell.  Whenever I was around him, I was most careful not to cuss and to keep my spirit clear of anger and bitterness.  Looking back now, I see that I was rebelling at the losses I had incurred in my young adult life.   My first marriage bit the dust after only 8 years; my second had a good 15 years under my belt but was certainly floundering at best.

Dad and I would read the Bible most every day over the phone and gradually I sensed the anger and rage within my heart receding slowly, my life was becoming nicer and more fulfilling.  Yet the need to swear during certain situations continued, and I tried my best to keep it from Dad.   I felt I was doing him a favor if he thought he had changed my heart attitude.  But he saw through this charade and one day told me I surely had to change if I was truly repentant of my sins.  “Jeanne, you may be able to fool me, but you will never fool God.”

To tell you the truth, I was ready!  I was so tired of having to be so careful around Dad, I was getting aggravated at myself.  I realized I had to make a decision here.  I had a little talk with Jesus one day and told Him about my decision.  I told him I wanted to change but it was so hard.  Habits are always hard to break.  I remember I told Him I loved Him and wanted to be used by Him in the lives of others.  That was it. 

A funny thing happened—swearing was no more.  Jesus took it from my heart.  It was gone.  The desire had flown the coop and my heart was set free.  I was trying so hard to quit but using only my strength, not His.  His strength worked overnight.  Thank you, Lord.    You are my Master now, not anger or bitterness.  Love and peace and joy fill my spirit and there’s no room for the wild and woolly rantings anymore.  My burden was lifted and Jesus filled my soul.  Amen!

9 comments on “No Fooling

  1. You are so right, Anne. I used to think I was supposed to be nigh to perfect when I became a Christian, and when I made missteps, I was so disheartened. So I would act out instead of being up front. And that is not good. We are depending not on ourselves, but God. There is our trust and faith. God must see that, not us. Amen

  2. Pam Ford Davis says:

    Honest and touched by God’s grace through your Dad’s love…

  3. LeRoy Dean says:

    Great post and story from you dad…thanks for sharing.

    • You would have liked my dad. He was a lay minister, preached at retirement home in Ohio and filled in as needed in pulpits throughout Ohio and Indiana. My parents divorced when I was a baby, so I didn’t get to know Dad until I was grown.

  4. Brush Arbors says:

    I enjoyed reading this… Reminded me of myself when I was trying to quite smoking… didn’t work, got caught HA.. but thats just what it took, Haven’t smoked for 5yr’s now and I thank the Lord everyday… God know’s just how to heal us from all our sickness… God Bless… Bro Pat…

    • Yes, indeed! I couldn’t have quit on my own at all, I see that now. A bad habit that took control.

      Glad to have you on board and will enjoy reading more of your posts soon.

      Shalom
      Jeanne

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