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Interfere, Intercept, Intervene

It is a gracious act.

God impeding the "progress" of my flesh. It is grace. It is a gift. It is God's goodness.

If you are about to step out into oncoming traffic. Or in front of a speeding train. It is not a kindness; it is not OK for me to quietly let you proceed to your own demise and destruction. Maybe I can call out to you and prevent the error? But no! You're wearing noise canceling headphones! Perhaps I can catch you by the arm or step in front of you? But maybe in this situation I'm too far away from you for any of that. So, (running toward you from your left) I dive at you and tackle you (we can do anything hypothetically). You are startled. Then confused. Then furious, naturally. But I explain, and you are convinced. I have saved your life. An intervention left you bruised, but safe.

Many times I have prayed for God to intervene in my life. Countless times He has answered that prayer. Again and again He has erected insurmountable walls to keep me from my object. Admittedly, He has often even stepped in when I was unaware. Or worse, unwilling. Without me praying or even caring, He has interfered in my life. Repeatedly He has graciously meddled in "my" affairs. He frequently alters my direction.

Last week I read about Balaam's donkey and the dumb ass' superior spiritual vision. The "prophet" couldn't see the angel that was present to kill him, but the donkey could. And the donkey saved the worthless man's life. It was God's grace that revealed the danger to the beast for Balaam's sake. It was a kindness for the animal to smash his rider's foot against the wall and lay down in the path (rather than to proceed to sure fatal judgement). What a powerful reminder of how God works!

Have you found God regularly interfering with your plans and desires? Do you get frustrated when God refuses to let you have some toy or tool that you really want?

Perhaps a new perspective is in order. Maybe He is tripping you to keep you from catching up to an opponent whose strength far outmatches yours? Could be that He is taking your sharp knife away so you won't cut off you own appendages? He is telling you "No" to something because He has something better for you.

God has given us the greatest of all gifts: freedom. Yet without His involvement, instruction, intrusion, & infusion - we will ALWAYS use our freedom to dismantle, disembowel, dismember, and destroy ourselves. It is the nature of fallen humanity to keep on failing and falling repeatedly.

It is said that God saves us from hell. He saves us from sin. He saves us from Satan and from serving the world. Certainly He saves us from His own wrath and judgment. But perhaps most of all, He saves us from ourselves.

The next time God throws up a roadblock in your way (or mine), rather than fussing and fuming - let's offer our gratitude. Without a doubt He is delivering us from some danger. Likely, He is just protecting me from myself.

Interfering. Intercepting. Intervening.

Oh yes. One more thing. He doesn't just build walls. He also builds bridges. After His interferences. After His interceptions. After His interventions. I have always found Him inviting me to something else. God is not just a God who says, "Don't!" He is also a God who says, "Do!" It's not only, "You can't." But also, "You can." He didn't just rescue me from death. Annihilation would be better than damnation, and (theoretically) could be a form of deliverance from death. He has given me life! He has invited me into communion.

What grace!

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