What Might Have Been
In Isaiah 48:18-19 the Lord God declares to his disobedient, unbelieving people what might have been theirs, had they only obeyed him, had they only trusted him!
"Of all the sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: `It might have been!'"
Recently I drove by an empty church building in a large city. Once there was a large, flourishing congregation there. The gospel of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ was preached there. The congregation had a worldwide, influential ministry. Once, as a young pastor, I visited the church with my wife and daughter. I was simply overwhelmed at the ministry of that congregation.
In a few years the people began to be divided. First, there was an ugly fight, then a split, then disintegration. For years now the church building has stood as an empty monument to what might have been, if the people there had simply placed the honor of God and the cause of Christ above their petty grievances and foolish pride. Every time I drive through that city I think of that church and what might have been.
Some might say, "God is sovereign. His purpose stands fast. His will is done." If so, they are exactly right. But if your rationalization leads you to indifference, or leads you to think nothing is to be gained or lost by your obedience or disobedience to God, your rationalization is dead wrong! Forever abandon any notion regarding God's sovereignty that leads to irresponsibility and carelessness. We rob ourselves of much good and much usefulness in this world by our unbelief and disobedience to our God. The true reason why we possess so little spiritually is because we seek so little and believe so little. "Ye have not because ye ask not!"
Let us seize every opportunity set before us to serve our God and the interests of his kingdom in this world. Believing God, let us serve him faithfully. How sad it would be to reach the end of our pilgrimage, look back over a life of wasted opportunities, and see what might have been! How much better it would be to leave this world with the satisfaction of having fought a good fight, having finished my course with joy, having kept the faith.!