22. THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD
“Jesus saith unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”(Matthew 4:7)
Missionary Jerry (in the previous story) lived hundreds of miles from me in Japan, so I only got to fellowship with him in person in Japan just a very few times. He and his family were very diligent labourers for lost Japanese souls in this heathen land of idol worshippers.
I think it was along about the mid-1990s when Jerry was tragically killed in a traffic accident “back home” in Oklahoma. He was alone in his car, driving to a “planning meeting” of several Christian leaders (I think). It was snowing slightly. A large truck jackknifed on the slick pavement, turning sideways in front of Jerry’s car. Jerry could not stop his car on the icy, snowy highway, causing him to run into the side of that truck (or trailer) turned sideways, killing Jerry instantly.
I have not one word of judgment against my deceased missionary friend Jerry regarding his decision to be traveling on dangerous icy road conditions. But God is clearly leading me to pen these following words of wisdom the Holy Spirit has spoken to me regarding such tragedies in general.
People (especially Christian believers) must be ever so careful not to tempt God. That morning Jerry’s life was snuffed out (leaving behind a widow and 2 children), likely Jerry and those other pastors, preachers and missionaries setting about to conduct that “planning meeting” each had the following mindset to varying degrees.
“The time for this meeting was set weeks ago, during which time we have done much preparing to bring it together at this arranged time. It is an important meeting, because it concerns God’s work that we are doing. Thus God understands the importance of it, and thus He will guard over us to keep us safe as we travel to and from the meeting place on dangerous, icy, slick highways.”
Thinking thus wise, I believe that in some cases (likely many cases), unawares a Christian believer enters into the realm of making God into a “good luck charm” that will protect the person who is going about doing his own will.
One time when I had come back to the States from Japan, it sleeted, glazing over the roadways around me where I was preaching in Oklahoma. I “hibernated” with Pastor Mike and his family for 4 or 5 days, until the roadways cleared off, canceling my preaching engagements during that time. “Iced in”, Pastor Mike and I spoke of Jerry’s tragic death, chatting about how we should not take such chances. (Pastor Mike also had personally known Jerry and his family.) Then I drove back to Harrison, Arkansas after the roadways cleared.
Some miles north of Harrison, a young pastor and wife decided that a certain horse of theirs just had to be moved some miles away (by truck and horse trailer) before the roadways were completely clear of frozen sleet. The young wife was to “take” the horse. She went alone. On the way, her truck began a skid on the glazed ice, veered left into the oncoming traffic, hit another vehicle head on, and she was killed.
Reader Friend, what could the surviving family members and her dear friends possibly have been thinking at her funeral as they grieved so deeply? “It would not have caused any major problem at all, to have waited another 4 days till the roadways completely cleared of ice, to move that horse. So tragic, that a young Christian lady lost her life in that manner.” No doubt many similar thoughts were on the minds of all the many people who loved this pastor’s wife.
(I personally think such thoughts should have been on their minds. That is my religious belief concerning such.) “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
“Heavenly Father, please create holy and divine caution within my being. Please make me truly desirous to daily at all times walk in the Spirit, listening to Thy Holy Spirit cautioning me not to take dangerous chances that are not necessary. I also pray this for all other people on earth. Amen!”
“Behold, now is the day of salvation.” I hope you remember Story Number 8. In it, I pleaded with that lost dad (who had destroyed his God-given health with sinful vices) not to delay repenting unto God and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to save him. That’s because one is tempting God by delaying coming to Jesus to be saved. The Holy Spirit will graciously convict and plead with such a rebel for a season. But soon the time will come when God will cut off the procrastinator with death, sending him or her into the fiery torments of eternal retribution. Lost and Undone Friend, I NOW plead with you to NOW cease gambling with the fate of your eternal soul by tempting your Creator God in this manner.
“Our Father which art in Heaven, please have great mercy upon me to totally break down my resistance to receiving Christ NOW. Lord Jesus, please enable me to truly repent NOW. Please enable me to fully trust in Thee NOW. Please save me to the utmost NOW. Thank Thee, my Lord God, for hearing and answering this desperate prayer of mine. Amen.”
Richard Yerby (Matsuida, Japan) www.Christ-is-all.us