Means to an end

means to an end

2 Samuel 12:15b  The LORD struck the baby that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.

Since we opened our doors in 2000, the ministry has fed tens of thousands of people. I’m always excited about donations of food coming into the ministry. And with the advent of social media over the last several years, we’ve been able to reach out to more than a thousand people at a time with a need for meat, cheese, etc. Unfailingly, at least a few times a year, I have someone who approaches me with a big heart and a voice full of excitement expressing a will to spend food stamps to help stock our food pantry. We need food. The poor get hungry. And in the end, I’d like to feed them. We’re even called to do that. But that end doesn’t justify those means.

God gives us forethought, the ability to plan, to vision cast our lives. Hope itself is all about seeing in our mind’s eye what cannot yet be seen in the physical. Most of us have a hope for our future.  That could mean a college education, a house on a lake, or publishing a book. I have a hope for abundant ministry provision and a well-stocked food pantry.  But the end of our hope doesn’t justify any means to reach it.

In fact, the means define the end. How you get to where you think God wants you is to assemble the essence of that end along the way.  It’s like two winter jackets that look alike but one comes from LL Bean, the other from Walmart. What’s the difference? What went into the making. It’s the process, the how, the means that define the end as blessed or not blessed.

God doesn’t want you to have a particular thing, or be with a particular person or be in a particular place more than He wants you to be blessed. To have the car, the girl and the chateau on the lake may or may not be blessed. If the means to reach those ends have not been assembled with God along the way, then you end up with a motor vehicle accident, venereal disease and a house fire.

The end? David was to end up with a son. That was the end and it was another step in the coming of Christ. But notice God doesn’t call the child David’s, rather “the baby that Uriah’s wife had born to David.” God calls the child something other than the end prophesied in 2 Samuel 7:12 “I will raise up after you your descendent who will come from your body…” You and I may see what God wants for us down the road. You may have a bead on the desire of your heart, that thing He’s planted in you that drives you into the future. Whatever you call that vision, you also call it blessed. But if you attain in some way outside of God’s will, He’ll call it something else.

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