I was thinking back to many years ago when I was met at the room I was to stay in at a conference for high school students from all over the south east of the US. I was one of several speakers over five days of speakers and I was to be the first that night. The person who met me , I had never met before, who was heading up the event, introduced themselves and said they had heard about me and did not want me  giving an invitation that night to people to give their lives to Jesus!! -{ That would happen on “Thursday night.”}

On other occasions I had spoken at youth camps for a week of meetings. Speaking mornings and nights. After a while I came to observe that the adults usually got excited about “Thursday night.” Many believed this is the night that youth got “saved,” and a big emphasis was put on this night. Hmm, does that mean that the LORD does not “save” on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday’s Fridays, Sunday’s at youth camp… but exclusively on “Thursday’s!” Hmm. I remember been at one of these events and someone spoke and a girl near me in tears when I asked her why she said because her friend was crying. I am not saying God does not save on Thursdays, but it seems we want to “Program” God to fit into our events, schedules, time tables and not His. Some youth have been ‘saved,’ who have never been convicted of their own sinfulness against God. Indeed without conviction of sin there is no evidence the Holy Spirit has worked in their heart. For when He comes Jesus said. “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; “-{John 16:8}. We are trying to by-pass the Work of the Holy Spirit and declare people right with God who have never seen their own sin against God! Trying to “Program” God!

The result of “Thursday night conversions?” are apparently “decisions” made for Jesus, “re- dedications” and pledges to go with the gospel. And so on the following Sunday at church a “number” is given of how many saved, re dedicated, and going into full time ministry!  For some,”numbers” equal success!  But years later where are these so called “converts?” But they will be “assured” that it doesn’t matter how they live life but at camp they were “saved.” Their “assurance” is based on a past decision and not a present reality of a life that is being changed.

It is as though God begins a work of salvation and then abandons His Word which is contrary to His Word. ” For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”-{Phil 1:6}, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”-{2 Cor 5:17}. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,“- {Titus 2;11-13}. Note, there is change that takes place when the Grace of God begins working in a person, influences them and brings about change of attitude and action. Not perfection or flawless but a new direction away from sin and towards righteous living, that is living in such a way that is in accordance to God’s Word and which pleases God!  God is not programmed by people, for when people try and program God the results are humanistic, spiritually bankrupt, spiritually powerless,”… and you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves” {Read Matt 23:15}… for now they rest on  DECISION at youth camp rather than a life that is being changed!

CH Spurgeon the renowned preacher of his time was sitting on a platform at a church meeting with another pastor when he  told him that a man sitting on the front row was one of ‘his converts,” the other pastor was impressed. Spurgeon followed up to tell him that was the problem he was one of “his” and not the LORD’S convert! We can convince and get a person to make a “decision,” but only God can convict of sin and deliver from the power of satan, sin, self, and give forgiveness and bring into a new relationship with Himself, where His Spirit is gifted to enlighten, empower and guide us. WE can no more live the Christian life apart from the Holy Spirit than we can  create galaxies and uphold them.”But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” -{ Romans 8:9.}

When we try and “PROGRAM” God what we in essence are declaring is that  we are “GOD!” We determine when and how God “performs.” We believe God exists for us to be our “servant” and that is perverted faith that needs to be recognized, rejected, repented of and replaced with what is true of God as revealed exclusively in His Word!

“Programming” God is simply “PLAYING God!” It is attributing to ourselves Sovereignty, Power to save, control, that we are ultimately in charge and indeed we don’t really need God to do a work of God as we feel competent we can do it ourselves!

A Low view of God is a reflection of a high view of self and “helping God out” is up to us, He needs our help, indeed is dependent upon us. Though we would not say it yet our actions show we believe it!

“PROGRAMMING” God, determining when God will “save” and where shows PRIDE, ignorance on our behalf and the boasting of “numbers” to show “our” success is sad… to bring God down to such a level of thinking that we can control Him as though He is some “thermostat” on a wall, that we can control, indeed that we feel we are in control, and salvation depends on us.

Would it not be wonderful that the HOLY SPIRIT would convict of sin at such camps or indeed any venues, and we come back and say the HOLY SPIRIT is convicting our young and older people, no salvation’s to report but God is at work! Would that be an “unsuccessful” report,because we have  no “numbers” to equate “our success?”  Isaiah in chapter 6:5  said,”Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah said he was a sinful man he had a “WOE IS ME” before he said “HERE AM I. SEND ME”-{v8}. We often want to have the young “go” when they have never had a “woe is me” experience!

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”-{Rev 7:10}

Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.“- {Psalm 135:6}