“Because of this, straighten up the hands which hang down and the enfeebled knees. (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed”. Heb 12:12-13

When people come to God, they come so as to have their own lives saved. But Christ is calling up on them to loose the lives they know of and knew till then and never to save it. This is seldom taken in as a serious matter to preach about, really. We find the Lord Jesus turning to thousands of followers in Lk.14:25-35 and telling them just this: go back and reckon out first what the price of following Me shall be. How glad would nowadays preachers be to have such a following bunch behind them!

Because people reckon to come to save their lives, right there starts the strangest struggle between a certain kind of Life, and a death which people are seldom aware of and take to be a life as well. We read that the yoke of Jesus is easy and His burden is light. Nevertheless, I find quite often that the closest friends to truth have the greatest struggle within themselves by putting that yoke on. This should not be, according to Scripture, and I felt today that there must be a deep rooted unwillingness to follow Christ and to do it His way, a certain resistance or people would never give up. If the yoke is easy, surely the yoke is not the problem and there must be something else we should look for. And slowly the whole matter opened up to me, even though I lived with this fact from a long way back.

To give up on God is as good as saying, “Lord, either my way (the hard way, the way I know of) or no way”. And usually, people who come to God in this state of mind, are able to present reasons which seem reasonable enough but only to themselves. They feel divorced from God, injured and full of rights and these challenge God and even God's motives on those grounds only, (this is what we read mostly about in the Book of Malachi). I believe to do this is to blackmail a living God, to start doubting His whole motivation towards all of us and to transform our mind in a demanding fairytale, for we know just how He loves and cherishes us all dearly. We know, as well, that the devil once offered the whole world to Him in exchange for His worship and Christ did not accept it then. How will He then accept sinful man simply because he threatens his own life with hell if God does not change His mind?

Certainly, when people wish wholeheartedly to live for God God's way, and ask just that from Him, there is an immediate curse upon an old life and the back door to it is instantly turned into a thorny path.  Hence, the impossibility to go back to it and be kept in full peace. Usually, things never work out as they used to before, by going back to it anymore, and if it works out, then it is because God has Himself given up on such. I believe, as long as a way contrary or similar to God’s has thorns, there is  hope for all such who trod it still. But, I also believe that confusion will be a great possibility as well, by making a great come back, for people in that state of mind easily confuse themselves with words, wisdom, doctrine and religious ways - they wish wholeheartedly to be confused, after all. But, if they manage  to come back, somehow, I believe they will stay from then on. It is nowhere recorded that a former prodigal son ever made the same mistake again. It still remains a possibility though.

But, before a prodigal outrun is made, people usually prefer to have God bless a former way of life instead of having it dead. They believe that’s why God came to their lives: to have it saved. But God came to save them from their lives and not their lives for them. And since God never complies to the flesh, people choose to either believe or disbelieve God; find an easy solution for it as a way out which fits a new found faith (a false faith); or merely rebel against God. These suppose God is there to uphold a self which seems holy and pure enough to be spared, rather than to have them submitted to a new life, as well as to a new form of living it out. When people have not realized or merely accepted and believed that God has something else in His own mind concerning them, both as Life and as the way to stick by it (and in it), right from its roots through to the way it is to be accomplished and fully carried out, adding there the perseverance to fulfill it at any cost, these easily give up because their fight is to have their own ways blessed and carried out instead of having them dead. The way with Christ is supposed to be easy and light. It means that there is no possibility to look back and to let as much as a single thought on giving up cross our minds. This has mainly to do with a state of heart, a rebellion against a fuller (the fullest) submission to God’s will and to God Himself, and to have and to obey the proper means and timings it has received and regained from the very hands of a living, caring and precise God - precise, yet, in His things alone.  

There is a deep rooted unwillingness to comply with God in people who give up either on Him, or on the things He pretends for them still because of the way He carries them out. And because it is so, especially since God is calling to abide in His will and not to create circumstances to bless man’s ways for him, the confusion man is able to create around his new found faith and prayer time, opens up an impossibility to solve: it wants God (which is God's will for him as well) and God is not willing to bless man his way because such mistakes God for a Blesser of the flesh. Because God seldom talks to unwillingness to answer it, there is usually no answer from God to giving-up people. And there the door to unbelief, rebellion or whatever, emerges from within man, rises and is encountered to either enter it or close it for good. Every door towards sinning is always a double choice - you either enter it or do not.

People on a mad mood trip of discouragement often forget what sort of things have led them there where they are, into getting them in that state of heart in the first place. It so happens that people have and breed not in their minds that God has higher ways for man  than their own (or even a much higher man) and man has come to believe in God for the sake of finding a blessing for his old living instead of loosing his kind of life. But mainly, they forget that it is real and start blaming God for not being with them, while it so hapeens that they are the ones who left God and His ways and despised it.

Giving up is resisting God and is not a weakness as many suppose - it must be and fully have and breed a high degree of strength, for the Yoke they resist is light. Resisting God may lead to weakness and feebleness, yes, because men always loose their strength against Whom they cannot overcome. In favou of God they would never loose heart at all. To be expectant on God, to wait from Him, to abide and expect from Him, is to renew strength upon strength. There is no way one will fade away close to a living God, abiding in Him alone. It takes more from us to mingle God with sin than to live in sin alone by ourselves. If man is ready to give up, it is mainly because he has chosen a wrong way at some point back and God has been resisting it in some silence for a while. Even when man does not know what to do or where to go, if Christ alone be the goal, there is no way to give up on God. If there is no fight, there will not be a giving up. Resistance makes people give up – not weakness. Besides, there will be no lack of strength to such as have a hard way within God’s will, on their way up according to a Godly march under detailed sustenance and guidance. One may not know what will befall him tomorrow, but he surely has enough for today - always.

The amount of unwillingness to make one give up is a faithful resemblance of the amount of love ones has for oneself still breeding from within, somehow. The desire to give up shows the exact amount of love towards self one still has above God.

“Keep God's covenant in your trials; hold you by His blessed word, and sin not; flee anger, wrath, grudging, envying, fretting; forgive a hundred pence to your fellow-servant, because your Lord hath forgiven you ten thousand talents: for, I assure you by the Lord, your adversaries shall get no advantage against you, except you sin, and offend your Lord, in your sufferings” – Samuel Rutherford.

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José Mateus