Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is it Wrong to Wish for Things or Events to Happen?


Is it a sin to say, "I wish for this thing or that thing?". I'm paraphrasing but it was a legitimate question sincerely posed by an individual, let's call him "Charles", who was just coming into the truth of God and was examining all aspects of his life and was striving to get it right. Charles then posed the question, "Is it okay to say that you've been fortunate?". Fortunate being the operative word and being derived from the name of the Roman goddess Fortuna. Would it be an affront to God to say that you have been fortunate when good things happen in your life?
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God has told us on several occasions that He wants things to go well with us and even wants to give us the desires of our hearts. (Deut 5:33; Psa 37:4; Mark 11:24) So it is perfectly natural and is not wrong to desire better things in life. God wants the best for His children.

We must be careful, however, that we don't reach the point of covetousness. (Exo 20:17; Joshua 7)

The Lord abhors those that covet (Psa 10:3), and wants us to appreciate that which He provides for us. Though the children of Israel were fed with manna in the wilderness, they provoked God's anger by murmuring that they had no meat. (Psa 78:18) God provided it but destroyed the complainers with a plague. (Num 11:33) We should be grateful for whatever God provides for us and be happy regardless of our state. (Php 4:11)

Using the word, "fortunate", to describe our "good fortune" is another matter. Our God is a jealous God (Exo 34:14) and is not pleased when we attribute His blessings to a false god or even to our own efforts (Amos 6:13). Who was Fortuna? Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) was the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good luck or bad: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life's capriciousness. She has even been traced back to the Egyptian goddess Isis from whom evolved many false gods and goddesses.

Much of our English language has been derived from Greek and Roman cultures, among others, and is rife with pagan references and origins. So if we were to attempt to avoid ALL such references our ability to communicate would be severely hampered. However, the use of the word "fortunate" to describe our blessings may be tenuous. All blessings come from God and to attribute them to any other source is to invoke His displeasure and possibly His wrath.
That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: (Josh 23:7)

We are also cautioned to be mindful of the words we speak as that which comes out of a man is what defiles him and we will all be held accountable for every idle word we speak. So we do need to let our words be few and choose them carefully. If we desire something we are to make our requests to God for it is He alone who can bring it about.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Php 4:6)

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4)
So it is not wrong to desire or wish for things, but it does matter from whom you expect the wish to be fulfilled.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3John 1:2-4)
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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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