Reminders of God’s word can guide our daily lives, but only if we follow those reminders. A while ago, I introduced the blog’s mascot, “Ebenezer, the ‘But God…’ Squirrel.” Ebenezer is a reminder that however difficult or frustrating our situation, if we actively and intentionally inject God into the situation, He can and will show us the best way forward. However, what if we try to say “But God” but take the wrong path anyway? If we do, we are not alone.
A search of the exact words “but God” in the ESV Bible gives 43 results, and the first one is found in Genesis 3:3, which says “but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” This verse occurs when the serpent in the garden questions God’s word that Adam and Eve were limited by God in what they should and shouldn’t do. Eve, the speaker in the quote above, responds rightly that God had been specific about what not to do. As most of my readers will know, even though Eve knew God’s word, the serpent was able to convince her to ignore it.
As they say in the financial industry, “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” but I will guarantee anyway that today and every day every one of us face temptation to do something God wants to protect us from. I also am confident of the words “but God…” that “If you recall them daily and live by them, they will transform your life completely,” as I quoted earlier from James Montgomery Boice. But we must live by them to be transformed by God, not just quote them.
Today, pray that we all would be distracted by God’s word as easily as we are sometimes distracted by a passing squirrel when we are tempted to ignore His voice in our souls. And if God delivers you from temptation today, make a note, a perpetual “stone of help” that God’s word is good!
Keep an eye out for Ebenezer as an ongoing series here, covering the 43 direct “but God” references, but also others.