“O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!” (2 Chronicles 13:12).
IF THERE IS ANYTHING CERTAIN IN THIS WORLD, IT IS THAT GOD’S PURPOSES WILL BE FULFILLED IN THE END. Whenever we work at cross purposes with God, our failure is not a matter of if — it’s only a matter of when. The devil is an awesome foe, but not even he and all his angels can thwart the things God is doing to reconcile the world to Himself. Sooner or later, all that has ever been done in defiance of God will amount to no more than a few off-color threads, which God wove wisely into the great tapestry of His scheme of redemption. It’s a simple fact: “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30).
Disobedience. It should be obvious that we can’t get away with defying God’s law, and yet judging from our actions, we seem to think that’s possible. For a time, we may think we’ve found a way to beat the law of cause and effect, but when the crop comes in, as it surely will, it will be clear that we’ve reaped what we’ve sown.
Desires. The great lie the tempter tells us is that if we fulfill our God-given desires outside the limits of the Creator’s will, the result will be better than what God was willing for us to enjoy. It is a lie, however. There is no shortcut to any place worth going to. There is no “better life” outside of God’s will; there is only death.
As the saying goes, we can’t really break God’s law; we can only break ourselves against it. But we shouldn’t resent that fact; we should be grateful for it. Anytime our actions are antithetical to God’s purposes, the sooner we find out about that, the better off we’ll be. When God frustrates our plans and vetoes our projects, He is not merely saying, “No, you can’t go that way.” He’s also saying, “Look over here. Here’s a better way.” Our prayer should be that He will bring to nothing, as soon as possible, any course of action on our part that is inconsistent with His plan for this world. And we ought never to be more grateful than when He has defeated the foolish little kingdoms that we set up in defiance of His.
“God speaks to us unceasingly through the events of our life, through the firmness with which he negates our petty human ordering of it, through the regularity with which he disappoints our plans and our attempts to escape, through his endless defeat of all our calculations by which we hoped to become able to do without him” (Louis Evely).