Those who don’t follow instructions are destined to fail.
There is a card game called Mao. Not to give anything away but a significant part of this game is that the rules are NEVER explained and ALWAYS changing. It’s a game about discovering the instructions by repeated failure. As you fail, you seek to learn what the rule was that you broke. As you learn these rules, you are more successful.
Life sometimes feels like this but it doesn’t have to. But if we fail to learn the rules, it’s impossible to know how to avoid breaking them. As a result, many people wander through life like a person playing Mao for the very first time. The make a mistake but are not sure what they did to earn the penalty. Then they do it again and are still clueless. After enough repeated failures, they eventually learn THAT rule but by then, more have been added and the process repeats itself.
Peter is giving a warning to his followers about why some people stumble and he says, “They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” (1 Peter 2:8b)
God has provided us an instruction manual. On top of that, He even gave us a coach (the Holy Spirit) to help us to know and understand the instruction manual. Then He also gave us team leaders (other mature Christians) who can further help us. Relying on these instructions, coach and team leaders is what helps us to navigate life. Failure to pay attention to them will absolutely result in failure… every time.
Here’s an example. Let’s assume you are a wide receiver for an NFL team. You are fast. In fact, you have the best speed in every speed test available. You can juke and cut like nobody else. Your skills are completely unmatched by any corner in the league who is trying to cover you.
Now an NFL wide receiver has an instruction manual called the play book. They also have a coach and a few team leaders on the team. Even with all the skills you have, if you fail to read the play book and fail to listen to your coach and team leaders, you will never make the play. You can run the most amazing route imaginable, but if the rest of the team is running a different play, you won’t be in position to catch the ball.
As followers of Christ, we MUST read the play book. We must study it and memorize it. We must also listen to our coach (the Holy Spirit) as well as our team leaders (Pastors, Elders and other Christian leaders in our lives). If not, we are destined to fail.
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