To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Jude 1:24-25 NIV).
Whew, lots of theology in that verse.
- First, he reminds us He is capable to keep us from falling, even when we fail to trust His competency.
- Secondly, God desires to prevent our falling down. He doesn’t just catch us—He is our barrier, our guard rail protecting us even from our willfulness.
- Thirdly, He wants us to be with Him, in His presence where there is far greater joy than any pursuit in this world. Not just a warm fuzzy, but great joy to which nothing compares.
Danny caught his daughter as she was tumbling from a folding chair. “How many times must I tell you to stop standing on that chair?”
In a tone more curious than disrespectful you asked, “How many times have you told me?”
“Maybe you need to tell me one-hundred and one times.”
With that, Danny took the folding chair down and put it away—out of his child’s reach.
As our loving Father, God repeatedly reminds us to steer clear of spiritually dangerous situations. Sometimes, instead of issuing the one-hundredth and one warning, he separates us from the temptation.
Danny knew, perhaps from his own experience, standing on a folding chair can lead to injury. Our God is omnipotent. He knows what entanglements will interfere or even destroy our relationship with Him.
He warns us over and over again.
But in our stubbornness, we fail to listen. “One more time, God,” we say as we barge ahead with one more careless walk along the edge of disobedience, one more flirtation with the infatuation that keeps us from taking hold of God’s hand.
What does God warn us about?
Perhaps it is our wealth, our inability to spiritually manage our finances according to the blessings he gives us?
Perhaps it is a bad relationship or a toxic friendship?
Perhaps it is a vocation outside of his plan for us?
Perhaps it is prized possessions?
Perhaps against an addiction to our cell phone?
We justify our continuance as harmless amusement.
Amusement that takes the place of our relationship with the Lord has the potential to become obsession, and obsession is destructive. God warns us time and time again.
In the fifties Sci-Fi movie, The Body Snatchers, aliens came to earth as seemingly harmless pods. Eventually, the pod duplicated the human as a mindless robot, detached, not really living, merely existing.
Satan will cause us to pursue whatever keeps us away from an intimacy with God and the abundant life He wants to give us such as joy in our human experiences. He will urge us to keep climbing on a folding chair of selfish ambition or self-centeredness, seeking out the latest and greatest thrill or filling our minds with unedifying goop.
Do not be surprised, if instead of one-hundred and one warnings, he removes the obstacle. He loves us that much.
Our Father will do all He can to keep us in His embrace.
One-hundred and one times and more if needed.