Have You Sent Out Your Invitation? – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 2d – [7]

The LORD is my light and my salvation — so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger — so why should I tremble? For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. – Psalm 27:1,5

Zephaniah’s plea to the people of Judah, and us, was/is to follow God. To allow Him to be the ultimate authority in our lives, Lord of our lives.

For this to happen we need to invite God into every area of our lives. Invite because God will not force you to love Him.  He will not force you to follow His ways. But at the same time, He will never stop pursuing you.

The problem we often run into, is that we may trust God’s leading in one area of our lives, but not in other areas. God is trustworthy to take care of _____ situation, but not _____.  I rely on God’s guidance when it comes to choosing a college, but not when it comes to who I date/marry.  Or, I’m a God-follower when it comes to observing religious holidays, but not when I’m in the workplace or at school.

Here’s the real kicker — God has given everyone freewill (the choice to decide what we want to do or not do). Although we are free to choose our own way, apart from God or with God, we are not free to choose the consequences of our choices.

Keep in mind — Laws, rules, whatever we want to call them, are for our own good, for our protection.  It’s Satan who gives us the idea that God’s laws are burdensome, unreasonable, and unfair. It’s Satan who says, if you obey God, your life will be miserable and boring.

Satan uses/has used the same tactics over and over and over since the beginning of time.  Why doesn’t he mix things up?  Why should he?  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

DON’T FALL INTO SELFISH THINKING, PUSHING GOD ASIDE, which is exactly what Satan wants us to do. Instead, trust God, make Him Lord of every area of your life. Allow the creator to guide the creation.

NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO, Do They? – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 2c – [6]

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. – Romans 13:1

Is following the Deceiver’s Motto – Have it your way  Burger-King-Have-It-Your-Way, no one has the “right” to tell me what I can and can’t do , whatever-i-can-do-what-i-want  an attitude that benefits me?

I think not.  Sure at first glance, exercising the Deceiver’s Motto seems to make sense. I can make my own decisions, I have legit “rights” after all.  Seems like an empowering statement. But knowing the sneakiness of Satan, this way of thinking should raise a red flag. raise-red-flag A red flag because it’s a lie, although a subtle one, because we do have rights, but they’re within boundaries. We’ll always find that we’re under someone’s authority.  That could be parents, employers, teachers, government, and ultimately God. And exercising our “rights” unrestrained, is often a decision of rebellion that result in negative consequences.

Zephaniah’s purpose was/is to help people recognize their need to repent and turn back to God.  To show people how their choices have resulted in their current predicament.  To help people  realize that it’s better to follow God, as Lord of our lives, our ultimate authority, than to do life apart from God, or without God.

My Way? or God’s Way? – ZEPHANIAH – Chapter 2b – [5]

I have cared for you since you were born, says the Lord. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. – Isaiah 46:3-4

Chapter 2 begins, Gather together and pray, you shameless nation. Gather while there is still time, before judgment begins and your opportunity is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the LORD falls and the terrible day of the LORD’s anger begins. Beg the LORD to save you — all you who are humble, all you who uphold justice. Walk humbly and do what is right. Perhaps even yet the LORD will protect you from his anger on that day of destruction. – Zephaniah 2:1-3

God sends prophets with messages of destruction and pain like we saw in Chapter 1 because people (some more rebellious than others) just don’t seem to get message of repentance, above paragraph.  They seem to think the sole purpose of living on earth is to pleasure themselves – YOLOing around.

Satan’s MO (mode of operation) from his first appearance in the Garden of Eden until now has been to pull, prod, and encourage people to think and act with the “me, me, me” attitudes, such as,  “Do you own thing”, “You got ‘rights’, no one gonna tell you what to do”.

It’s the Deceiver’s Motto — Have it your way, no one has the “right” to tell you what you can and can’t do.

Does that attitude work for us, for others?