They Became Vain

There are consequences to our response to God, a series of conditions inevitably play out in us as we react to Him. There’s a right way, an appropriate and proper response to God; any other is inappropriate and dangerous.

We may glorify God, recognizing Him as supreme authority and worthy of all obedience and worship, thanking Him for creating us (Ps 139:14), for giving us life, consciousness and purpose, for giving us His Law (Ps 119:164), and above all, for being as He is. (Ps 63:3) This response aligns us with reality and enables us to thrive according to God’s design in us.

Or we may choose to become unimpressed, dismissive, unthankful, demanding and resentful. (Ro 1:21a) This reaction exposes us as children of the devil, for this is exactly what the devil does. (Jn 8:44) It is all from pride, a claim that we know better than God, a demand that He treat us as we wish.

In choosing this way, we turn from all that is good, right and holy; by default we are left to lies, darkness and corruption.

Since we’re imaginative creatures with an instinct for meaning, purpose and morality, we inevitably invent empty, twisted, ridiculous notions about ourselves and God (Ro 1:21b), making up our own moral standard, thinking we know better. Yet our unwillingness to return to God compels us to embrace utter foolishness and inconsistency. (Ro 1:22)

And the more we embrace foolish concepts about ourselves and God, the more we deviate from God’s way, the more corrupt and depraved and broken our life choices become, such that we begin to dishonor ourselves and each other. (24)

And the more we embrace such foolishness, the more corrupt and depraved our emotions and affections become. (25) The pattern continues to spiral downward, unless God intervenes and restrains us, until our very ability to think and reason becomes corrupt and broken. (28)

Unless we repent, turn around and seek after God, responding to Him appropriately, we eventually fill ourselves up with our own devices (Pr 1:31), pushing out the light and relishing darkness (Jn 3:19), resulting in empty, pointless, vain existence; we thus become prisoners of Satan, taken captive by him at his will. (2Ti 2:24-26)

This journey, the way of unthankfulness, is both dangerous and unnecessary; we may respond to injustice and suffering in this world with power and passion without becoming passive, bitter, arrogant or resentful. While we’re not to promote wickedness in any way, or be thankful for wickedness itself (Mk 3:5), we may be confident that God intends to glorify Himself in all He allows (Ro 8:28), and for this we should always be thankful. (Ep 5:20)

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