By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
A recently engaged man was having lunch with his future family, while his bride-to-be was elsewhere. The family, much like the bride, was full of love, but that love was infused with frenetic energy and unrestrained ideals. This marriage was going to be a ride.
Was the man ready? One of the family members leaned across the table and said, “Just remember – no takebacks.” If the man wanted to marry his fiancé, he was going to have to love and accept all of her, along with her extended family – and there was no going back.
When I heard this anecdote, it brought a spiritual reminder and clarity. That’s the same decision that God made when He chose to love us and adopt us into His family. He was choosing to accept and work with all of who we are, both the fun parts and the frustrating parts.
Just like the fiancé had “no takebacks,” so God has no takebacks with us.
Photo by Milivojevic on Pixnio
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” Romans 8:15 HCSB
Not only being a child of God, but an adopted child of God, ups the ante. In ancient Rome, the male head of the family, called the paterfamilias, could legally disown his biological children, sell them into slavery, or even have them killed.
However, adoption did not come with that option. An adopted child received a new identity through their new family, and that identity was not allowed to be legally dissolved. God is confirming to those beloved of God and called to be saints that He cannot and will not push them out of His family.
Calling Without Repentance
We live in a culture that often values convenience over commitment. But, God doesn’t work that way. His promises are sure, and He never regrets his calling.
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: ‘I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply you [WE are one of those descendants/blessings!]….Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:13-18 HCSB
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29 NKJV
You CAN’T Mess It Up
The above verse in Romans is in the context of members of Israel, God’s original chosen people, that walked away from the Lord. In verse 28, God through Paul writes that they are enemies of the gospel – but then reiterates that they are still beloved by Him because those gifts are irrevocable.
Irrevocable comes from the Greek word, in which the New Testament was originally written, ἀμεταμέλητος or “ametameletos.” It literally translates to “not to be repented of.”
God’s callings, His choices, are without repentance. He will NEVER regret His decision to bring you and me into His family. He is omnipotent and already knows the end from the beginning, so there’s nothing we can do that will surprise Him or shake Him (hallelujah!).
In Numbers 23, King Balak of the Moabites has hired (yes, you read that right) the prophet Balaam to curse his enemy – those same children of Israel. God does not and has not liked people using His spiritual power for their own financial gain, and He really didn’t like when others messed with His chosen people.
So as Balaam is getting ready to do King Balak’s bidding, Balaam has a nearly fatal encounter with a donkey and an angel of the Lord (it’s worth reading the whole story in Numbers 22). Subsequently, Balaam has a change of heart and tells Balak that he will only say what God wants him to say.
Which turns into a powerful blessing.
Balak gets so angry, he moves Balaam to a different location. Balak explains that he thinks if Balaam can see all the children of Israel, then Balaam would definitely curse them.
But remember, both Israel and ourselves belong to the God of no takebacks. When God gives a blessing, it’s not fickle. So, here is Balaam’s response:
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.” Numbers 23:19-20 NKJV
You CAN Still Have Consequences
Now, does that mean we won’t have to deal with consequences? Sadly, no.
The children of Israel still had to handle some horrific situations that many times resulted from their own bad choices. Centuries later, some unwise decisions I have made, and possibly you as well, have cost me jobs and relationships.
But, even though people may regret or change in relationship with me, God never will. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord, I was saved and adopted into the family of God.
And that decision, by God’s own admission, is irrevocable.
Amanda Cook summarizes it beautifully in her song Mercy:
“Oh love, great love
Fear cannot be found in you
And there will never be a day
You’re uncertain of the ones you choose”