Please don’t misunderstand the title of this article. I do not presume to know everything about why God does what He does. Not nearly! This will not by any means be an exhaustive dissertation. Not even close. Such an undertaking, of course, would be impossible. For, “How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). We can, however, know why He does some things. How can we know? Because of what He has told us in His Word.
God does much of what He does in response to what we do. James made reference to His responsive nature saying “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8). Our obedience to Him lures Him close to us. “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee…Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field…” (Deuteronomy 28:1-3). His promise of blessing continued through several verses. Then He flipped the coin telling us that God not only takes note of our obedience but that He also reacts to our disobedience. “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field…” (Deuteronomy 28:15-16) God does what He does in response to our obedience or disobedience. He does what He does because we do what we do.
Paul summed up God’s reactions to our actions with these words � “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the. flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap-life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:7-8). Briefly stated this is why the world is in such a mess. Sin has consequences! Some ask, “Why doesn’t God do anything about the evil in this world?” The answer is � He is doing something. He is allowing man to wallow in the results of his warped choices. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). God responds to men’s love of darkness by giving them what they wanted � darkness. “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people…” (Isaiah 60:2). God’s response to man’s disobedience is to allow him to suffer the consequences of his choices “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…” and allowed them to receive “in themselves that recompence of their error…” (Romans 1:26, 27). These consequences have snowballed in today’s world as evil men and seducers have waxed worse and worse. Darkness begets more darkness. The result; gross darkness!
God’s desire is that sin’s consequences will diminish man’s appetite for sin and awaken him to his need of Him. Unfortunately disobedience tends to harden hearts.
The Book of Revelation speaks of the coming kingdom of the beast as being “full of darkness” and of people gnawing “their tongues for pain.” Despite the fact that their suffering has come as a result of sin they somehow will blame the Lord for their plight and “blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repent not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:10-11). In the coming Tribulation period the effects of sin will reach their peak. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…” (Matthew 24:22). Except for the intervention of God, men would totally annihilate one another. The end result of sin is ugly. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15)
Sin’s evil influence has literally covered the earth. Man’s iniquity has allowed darkness to engulf this globe. God yearns, however, to flood our world with spiritual light. But His light can only flow through vessels of obedience. It was the obedience of Christ that inundated this world with God’s abounding grace. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous…where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:19-20). The effects of man’s disobedience are widespread. The effects of obedience can be as well.
David’s life provides us with a wonderful example of the effects of obedience. “David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uri ah the Hittite.” (I Kings 15:5). David’s obedient life brought a reaction of gratitude and blessing from God. David recognized God’s response to his compliant life and made mention of it in Psalm 18. “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.”(Psalm 18:20-22). This was not the self-righteous boasting of a Pharisee. This was David’s humble recognition of why his life was blessed of God. David’s submissive life allowed the Lord to trust him with His authority. Unlike his disobedient predecessor, Saul, King David was a light in the darkness. Through his obedience a whole nation was turned around. An entire nation learned to please God by watching David please Him. God responded by sending His blessing.
There is nothing more vital to our effectiveness as the Church of the living God than our obedience to Him. NOTHING!! “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22). We “experience-oriented” Pentecostals must recapture a deep love for God’s Word. What is important to Him must be to us as well. He does what He does in response to our regard for His Word. We must then join with our predecessors who “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” If we do, God will respond to us as He did to them. “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:42, 47).
Rev. Robert Stroup is the District Superintendent of the Indiana District, United Pentecostal Church International, and Pastor of Pentecostals of South Lake in Merrillville, Indiana.
This article “Why God Does What He Does” by Robert Stroup, was excerpted from Indiana Apostolic Trumpet / July 2007. This material is copyrighted and may be used to study & research purposes only.