Wednesday, September 12, 2012
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Occasionally when I'm in a store and it's time to pay up, I'll just say to the sales person, "Do you accept cash?" You should see the look! I get this bewildered kind of look, and they're like, "Well, of course we accept cash." Well, it may be the first cash they've gotten in several transactions though. It's probably a given that they see more "plastic" money than "paper" money these days.
I think many of us got credit cards in order to make it more convenient to buy items. Instead of being more convenient, credit cards have caused us to buy a lot of things that we can't afford. Somehow when you're shopping with a credit card you... well, you kind of lose touch with reality. I mean, there's no real sense of what you've spent. It feels like you haven't spent anything until the bill comes. And, therefore, these credit cards that were supposed to make life easier somewhat, account for massive debts and financial bondage in a lot of people's lives.
That credit card was supposed to give us financial freedom. Instead, it's enslaved a whole lot of people. Well, credit cards, like a lot of things in life, can turn out to be an answer that only creates bigger problems.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Answers That Aren't Answers."
Our word for today from the Word of God: 2 Chronicles 25 - I'll begin reading at verse 7. It's an incident out of the life of the King of Judah, the Southern Kingdom. His name is Amaziah. Maybe you remember that the kingdom at one point was divided into two parts; Israel was the Northern Kingdom, Judah the Southern Kingdom. Amaziah was the King of Judah, and he has a major enemy coming against him. So he's hired 100,000 fighting men from Israel.
Here's what it says: "Amaziah called the people of Judah together and he mustered those 20-year-olds or more and found there were 300,000 men ready for military service able to handle the spear and shield. He also hired 100,000 fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver." Well, that sounds like a good answer doesn't it if you're under military pressure? But it says, "A man of God came to him and said, 'Oh, King, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.'"
There's a pretty powerful principle in that story. Amaziah has spent his money on what he thinks is an answer. He's depending on it, but it did not have the blessing of God. The battle's going to be lost if you don't have the blessing of God on it. See, it isn't your effort that matters. It isn't the size of the answer that you have. If you are employing a solution that God can't bless, you can't win.
Now, right now maybe you have a need for love and you are letting an unbeliever fill it. It won't work! God says, "Don't be unequally yoked." See, there are things God can't bless. He can't bless you if your way of doing it is to disobey your parents. Or if it means playing with the truth, if it means going deeply into debt, or neglecting your family in order to get to a good goal, flirting with immorality, or running ahead of God's timing. Oh, you may see what looks like an answer. It might make social sense, it might make financial sense, business sense, emotional sense, but if it will cost you the blessing of God, you can't afford it. It's too expensive.
In verse 9 it says the Lord can give you much more than that. Don't waste your time; don't waste your life on an answer that isn't an answer.