Playing poker with God

When playing poker, it's best to maintain opponents guessing until it is time to sell your cards. Poker players often enjoy misdirecting the opposite players regarding strength with their hand while using intent of manipulating their decisions. Poker is definately a favorite game because no-one really knows who supports the best cards until the very end when everyone's hand is revealed. When you are looking for betting on what better to please God and ourselves, life's choices can feel very much like playing poker.
Traditional Christians are betting that believing in Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior is a lot like holding the greatest wild card that trumps all the others. For Muslims, believing inside five pillars of Islam may be analogous to holding 5 best cards within the deck. The Hindus' belief in reincarnation could be seen as through an unlimited quantity of poker hands and money to play until we succeed. Buddhists might see the highest goal as every player at the table holding cards that end up with a balanced draw for everyone.
It is simple to see in making use of this poker analogy that not most people are playing by the same rules and may even believe anyone not following their rules isn't having fun with a full deck. But then this good question arises, 'Are we playing poker and competing with the other or, am i playing poker with/against God'? That may seem like a strange and in many cases inappropriate question but the response is worth exploring.
Most religions agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. Playing poker with God clearly takes away any bluffing strategies. Realizing God can stack occasions in any order He likes regardless of how they are shuffled and cut means the result has already been assured before the sport begins. It really all is dependant on that which you believe God's goal what food was in creating us inside first place.
Many Christians feel God's love for us is conditional and our salvation is only achieved by picking out the winning wildcard (salvation through Jesus) a moment before we die. Others still believe that we earn our salvation through our choices and deeds read more done on God's behalf. The Bible informs us that God is unwilling for any repentant soul to perish, so a spot their faith in God's wish to stack the deck of life within our favor to ensure that all His children are eventually saved despite having provided us free will. So, much like with poker, there are many of bets shared of life but no person knows the solution until all of the cards are revealed and that we cash within our chips. But think on this'
If God truly is love, is all-knowing and all-powerful, and is the most wonderful parent we're able to ever imagine, can we really think there are any cards He is holding that He won't tell us? Do we think He would create even one soul that will not eventually be saved at the time with their choosing instead of irreversibly condemned? Do we presume God can't or unwilling in order to save all His children yet deciding we have to have free will? If so, then we are creating the wrong God within our own less-than-perfect image instead of doing all we could to compare well and 'Be ye therefore perfect' as Jesus taught and showed us.
The only sure bet we have in life is that God has stacked when in our favor. We usually stay losers for as long as we'd like, for all of us have free will, but our separation from Him isn't the will in our loving Father. The way to actually win is to try out by His rules of unconditional love following the Golden Rule as well as the perfect role model shown to us from the life of Jesus. Once we do, then life's not a game of ups-and-downs, but instead a continuous connection with love and joy in God's abundant universe.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments at jschroeder@unityphx.org.

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