Will a man rob God?
Such was the question God brought to my mind recently as I drove home. The Holy Spirit continued to speak to me, and told me that I had indeed robbed God. However, what I heard next came as quite a surprise. No, God did not speak to me on anything regarding tithes and offerings, as when He asked the same question through the prophet Malachi. I then asked the Lord, how had I robbed Him?
The Lord then told me that I had robbed Him by taking advantage of His forgiveness.
But what does it mean, to take advantage of His forgiveness? He had showed me I had done such every time I had done something I knew to be wrong, but thought to myself that "I'll repent of this later..."
God did not stop there though. He not only showed me how I had robbed Him, but then He started showing me how I had robbed others. He showed me while I never went and shoplifted anything, like with God, I had taken advantage of the mercy of others. For example, I've owed my credit card company money before, but at the same time, I owed somebody I personally knew some money. I had a problem though... I did not have enough money in my checking account to pay both. So what did I do? I paid my credit card company because I knew that they would not show any mercy, but knew the person I owed would cut me some slack, and would allow me to pay them whenever I could get the money. I took advantage of their mercy when I knew that on some months (shamefully, I did this sort of thing more than once) that my money would be tight due to my lack of hours at work, but I still wanted to attempt to live the same lifestyle that I had maintained previously, instead of cutting back on such needless spending (e.g. eating out, going on short trips, etc.). I always thought, "I can always pay them back later."
In such ways, we rob both God and man. We do something we know we ought not be doing, and say "I'll make things right later."
Do you rob God? Do you do things you know you should not be doing, but think to yourself that you will simply repent of it later? The fact of the matter is God knows such is only lip service, and not true repentance.
Do you rob man? Do you procrastinate at work and do your job in a somewhat lazy fashion knowing that you are racking up extra hours on your paycheck? Do you take advantage of the deadlines set by your professors at school, knowing that if you choose to delay until the last minute to write a paper, but if are unable to do so, you'll be able to get a few extra days on your paper because the professor is a merciful man, and will not punish you as a result?
In all these instances the area God has shown me that where we lack is in bearing the fruit of faithfulness. When we purpose in our heart to do a sin and get forgiveness for it later, we are not truly seeking to be faithful to God. Likewise, when we do not pay those whom we are debtors to by faithfully executing whatever we are obligated to do, and the manner in which we are to do it, it is because we are not truly seeking to be faithful to perform that which we know we ought to do.
So brothers and sisters, let me exhort you to be faithful to God and to man. Let us seek to be pure in all things, and without any blame. Let us stay away from actions that have any appearance of evil. Let us do whatever we know to be right. Let us perform the things we tell people we will do.
Lord, forgive us our thefts!