Enjoying poker with God

When playing poker, it is best to maintain your opponents guessing until it's time to turn over your cards. Poker players often enjoy misdirecting the other players regarding strength of their hand with the intent of manipulating their decisions. Poker is unquestionably a trendy game because no person really knows who supports the best cards before the very end when everyone's hand is revealed. When looking at betting about how better to please God and ourselves, life's choices can feel very much like playing poker.
Traditional Christians are betting that believing in Jesus for their Lord and Savior is a lot like holding the greatest wild card that trumps every one of the others. For Muslims, believing within the five pillars of Islam can be analogous to holding the 5 best cards inside deck. The Hindus' belief in reincarnation may be seen as through an unlimited quantity of poker hands and money to learn until we succeed. Buddhists might start to see the highest goal as every player at the table holding cards that end up with a balanced draw for anyone.
It is straightforward to determine in using this poker analogy that many people are playing through the same rules and may even believe anyone not following their rules isn't messing around with an entire deck. But a good question arises, 'Are we playing poker and competing with each other or, shall we be held playing poker with/against God'? That may seem like a strange as well as inappropriate question though the answer is worth exploring.
Most religions agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. Playing poker with God clearly removes any bluffing strategies. Realizing God can stack the deck in a order He likes regardless of how they are shuffled and cut means the end result is already assured and before the overall game begins. It really all depends upon what we should believe God's goal is at creating us in the first place.
Many Christians feel God's fascination with us is conditional and our salvation is only achieved by seeking the winning bola wildcard (salvation through Jesus) a good moment before we die. Others still believe that we earn our salvation through our choices and deeds done on God's behalf. The Bible lets us know that God is unwilling for just about any repentant soul to perish, so an area their faith in God's need to stack occasions of life within our favor so that all His youngsters are eventually saved despite having given us free will. So, the same as with poker, there are a lot of bets available of life but no one knows a better solution until all of the cards are revealed so we cash inside our chips. But think on this'
If God truly is love, is all-knowing and all-powerful, and is also the most wonderful parent we could ever imagine, will we really think there are any cards He is holding that He won't give us? Do we think He would create even one soul that wont eventually be saved at the time of their choosing as opposed to irreversibly condemned? Do we presume God cannot or unwilling to avoid wasting all His children but deciding we need to have free will? If so, then we are creating a false God inside our own less-than-perfect image as an alternative to doing all we can to measure and 'Be ye therefore perfect' as Jesus taught and showed us.
The only sure bet we now have in daily life is the fact that God has stacked those times in our favor. We usually stays losers as long as we wish, for all of us have free will, but our separation from Him isn't will of our loving Father. The approach to actually win is to learn by His rules of unconditional love following a Golden Rule as well as the perfect role model consideration to us through the life of Jesus. Once we all do, then our life is not a game of ups-and-downs, but alternatively a limitless experience with love and joy in God's abundant universe.
As always, I welcome the questions you have and comments at jschroeder@unityphx.org.

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