- Rick LoPresti
Resign or quit
On the surface the words resign and quit seem to be synonymous. However, the first definition of resign in Webster's dictionary is "to give (oneself) over without resistance". The three definitions of quit as a verb are "to cease normal, expected, or necessary action; to give up employment"; and "to admit defeat." These meanings are quite different, especially as they apply spiritually. We can resign ourselves to the will of God without quitting. In fact, I propose that they way to avoid quitting is by resigning. When we try to do things in our own strength by our own will, we will get discouraged and tired. This can and does happen even when we are doing the will of God because we are only human, but when we are just doing our own will, it is often enough to cause us to quit what we are attempting.
In Acts 27, Paul warned those controlling the ship he was on to forgo their travel plans because God showed him the danger that lie ahead. They did not listen, and the storm that came destroyed their ship and left them stranded on a small island. During the storm they made several attempts to take action to save themselves to no avail. Finally they followed the advice of the man of God and "committed themselves unto the sea." They resigned to accept that they could not save themselves, but put their trust in the advice of the preacher who spoke by the revelation of God. They were immediately were able to approach the shore and escape, although the ship was lost as Paul had said.
Job did not understand why all those terrible things happened to him. He thought it all was God's fault. He did not know there was a celestial contest between God and Satan over him (Job 1-2). God was trusting Job to do the right thing no matter what the circumstances were, and Satan was accusing Job of only serving God because of His good circumstances. Job could not answer the why question, although he understood that sometimes good people suffer in this life and the wicked do not. His friends did not understand this. They assumed Job had sinned, and that was the only explanation for his calamity.
There was a man born blind in John 9. The disciples of Jesus asked Him whose sin caused this blindness, the man or his parents. This shows a common misunderstanding not only prevalent in their day, but today. Obviously the man was not to blame. He was born blind. However, the idea of generational curses had been taken much further than God ever intended. God did say He would visit the sins of parents on their children, but this had been taken to explain too many things, as sometimes happens today. God was talking about parental influence, not holding children accountable for sins they did not commit. This is clarified by Deuteronomy 24:16, "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." King Amaziah directly applied this verse (2Ki 14:5-6). Also Ezekiel chapter 18 explains this.
God does not always explain His actions to us, and we do not always see the why of everything. "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deut 29:29)." Our main job is to have faith in God, and to keep obeying His word no matter what. Hope and faith answer the why question for us (Ps 42:5 & 11, Ps 43:5, Rom 8:24). We may never know the answers to our why questions in this life, but we can resign ourselves to God so that we don't quit before the end of our journey. "Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Is 40:28-31)."
This blog was inspired by the message preached on April 23, 2017 by Bishop Ric Gonzalez.