We live in a cause-and-effect world. We typically learn about causality at an early age. As children, we first learn that doing bad things will result in punishment, so we tend to not do bad things because we don’t want to get punished. As teenagers, we learn that sometimes we can do bad things and not get punished if no one finds out. Therefore, we might do bad things if we think we can get away with them. Sometimes, as people grow up, they learn that doing bad things can hurt others, so they stop doing those things. On the other hand, if they don’t see something as hurting others and they think they can get away with it, they may do it. It all seems like a convoluted mess, but I think I’ve captured the essence of it.

When we were children, we believed that our parents knew everything, so we were careful (mostly) to be good. What we didn’t realize is that we were naive. Our notion that our parents knew everything came from doing things like eating those chocolate chip cookies where no one could see us but being found out because we had chocolate on our face and not realizing it.

As Christians, we know that there is One who knows all things. God. God not only knows everything we’ve done. He knows everything we’re going to do. On top of that, He knows exactly why we do or don’t do the things we do. One notion that we need to disabuse ourselves is this. The things we do change the things that God does.

We do live in a world of causality. However, our comprehension of it is too small. They are obvious effects on how we live. The choices we make do matter. Just not in the way that we sometimes think they do. For example. Let’s say you’re an average Christian who loves God, reads your Bible, goes to church, fasts, prays, etc. You do the best you can to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. One day, you do or say something you shouldn’t. Something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. You realize what you’ve done, and you repent of it. However, later on, the same day, something bad happens that has nothing to do with what you said or did earlier. The thought might enter your mind that God allowed that thing to happen because of what you did earlier. Similarly, you do something good that you might not ordinarily do, and something good happens. The thought might also enter your mind that God did that because of what you did.

I don’t believe either case affected what God did or didn’t do because God sees our lives from eternity. God weighs the sum of our lives and goes from there. That’s not to say that there aren’t negative consequences for doing negative things or positive consequences for doing positive things. However, God does good things in our lives because of who he is. Not because of who we are. Let’s look at King Ahab and this example from 1 Kings.

Scripture has this to say about King Ahab of Israel.

(There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)

1 Kings 21:25-26 (NIV)

Ahab and his wife Jezebel were so bad that we still talk about them today. In fact, the term “jezebel” comes from Ahab’s wife, Jezebel. In 1 Kings 20, we read about Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, who gathered his entire army to attack Israel (Samaria). Ben-Hadad not only gathered his army, but he got the support of 32 other kings and their armies to attack Israel. Now, there was absolutely no chance for Israel to win here. The army at Samaria consisted of 7,000 men in contrast to the multitudes assailing them.

When Ben-Hadad told Ahab to surrender, Ahab agreed to the terms. However, Ben-Hadad changed his mind and asked for even more from Ahab.

The messengers came again and said, “This is what Ben-Hadad says: ‘I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and your children. But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away.’ ”

The king of Israel summoned all the elders of the land and said to them, “See how this man is looking for trouble! When he sent for my wives and my children, my silver and my gold, I did not refuse him.”

1 Kings 20:5-7 (NIV)

This was too much for Ahab, so he refused Ben-Hadad. After he refuses Ben-Hadad’s terms, a prophet of the Lord comes to Ahab.

Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

1 Kings 20:13 (NIV)

God didn’t deliver Ahab and Israel out of the hands of Ben-Hadad because Ahab was a good man. God did it to show Ahab who he was. Previously, Ahab got to see the power of God in the incident with the prophets of Baal (cf. 1 Kings 18:16-42). However, that display of power did nothing to dissuade Ahab from continuing in his evil ways.

It’s not until God delivers Ben-Hadad into Ahab’s hands and Ahab sets him free that the Ahab is condemned.

He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’”

1 Kings 20:42 (NIV)

There were times when Ahab sort of repented from his ways, and the Lord had mercy upon him. Like in the case of Naboth and his vineyard. In this case, Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard for his own, so he could plant a garden there. When Naboth refused to give it up, Jezebel had him murdered. After Elijah condemns Ahab, Jezebel, and Ahab’s entire family line, Ahab “tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly” (1 Kings 21:27 NIV). The Lord saw Ahab’s behavior and decided to delay his wrath on Ahab’s family until later.

While God does see the things we do, and they do matter. What matters is how and for whom we live our lives. Do we live them for ourselves, or do we live them for Christ?

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.