Are we being wise?
Paul was lifted over a wall, in the middle of the night, to avoid being killed at the city gates by folks that hated him He avoided dying early, getting hurt or causing trouble when possible.
So should we. I am sure that folks were praying for Paul’s protection, but he also took action and considered the places he went, etc.
There are many examples of this throughout the Bible and Christian history. I can’t think of one single example of God being “pleased” with a fool. The point is we were not redeemed and sent out to be stupid. Avoid a lynching mob when you can, don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre, and avoid doing things that you know are foolish. Sometimes it’s better to run away or to escape over a wall in the dead of night than to seek drama.
Was Paul a coward? Obviously not, but should we do whatever we like, regardless of how dangerous or brainless it is, and then expect God to deliver us? Paul didn’t live like this. He was careful, but never nervous. He was aware of the crowd and the murmurings, yet still bold in what he preached. Never hoping for pain or certain death, he never backed down from being faithful and obedient. He was also wise and wanted to continue, as long as he could, to preach the gospel!
Does God intervene every time we make a bad choice or do something dumb? No, He does not. God’s gift to mankind of a “free will” requires that we live like adults in a dangerous world. God does want me to do something stupid and end up blind, or to make a even more foolish choice and cause someone else to die; if God intervened every time I made a bad choice, I would be living in a “nanny state” of existence where I had no responsibilities and no consequences for my actions. Can God work through (and despite) our poor decisions, absolutely! But He gave us instincts, the capacity to reason and the ability to avoid witless or ignorant actions that result in death or destruction by a learning from the history of all mankind. We learn from the good or bad actors and actions of the billions that lived before us—-all things from how to fish to how to create a combustible engine were passed on to us from people long dead, gone and usually forgotten.
We were created to use our heads and make wise choices or face the inevitable consequences, as free creatures, of what happens when choose like idiots or too hastily. Paul would have been “testing God” to leave the city through the gates. Instead he chose to be crafty, in a positive way. There are some things that we can only receive or avoid by prayer and fasting—-yes. But God will not intervene each time we act like morons…He expects us to think and reason.
Now is not the time to act foolishly or to assume that we can do anything we want and merely trust that all we need to do is pray. Now is the time to “Pray and wash your hands!” “Pray and be vote for competent leaders.” “Pray and be wise about fraudsters and thieves that are stealing from our hospitals and data from our bank accounts!” Jesus did not redeem us to become simpletons.
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