And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases Him, and love Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul. Deut 10:12 (NLT)
I often find myself crying out to God “just show me how to live and I’ll do it!” As if the knowing of it makes it any easier. But for me having rules makes it easier. I like things black and white, and lines clearly drawn. A list of do’s and don’ts.
But it’s not the reality of life. There are rarely clear lines drawn in the world we live in. Often it gets quite fuzzy and confusing. Yet as I read through the Word of God I find thing a bit clearer. His truth is black and white. His lines are clearly drawn.
So then I wonder, “if God’s word, His truth, is clear then why does the line between the world and the church seem to be fading?” “Why is it often hard to tell the difference between those in the world and those in the church?”
Maybe the bigger question is “Does my life stand apart from the world?” “Does MY life reveal an attitude of pursuing God and truth or an attitude of the world?”
I’ve often thought about this, quietly reflecting on what it mean to me. To my life. Are there things that need to be changed in ME. I say quietly because those times I try to talk out loud it seems people do not understand. They say I need more grace, I shouldn’t judge or I just need to be more tolerate of where people are at in life. I am even told I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
But I want to live a life of obedience to God. I want to live purposefully to what He has called me to do. What I don’t think people understand is that, at least this time, it IS about me. I can offer you grace. I do offer you grace for where you may or may not be. Just as I would pray that you would offer me grace.
I am not perfect. My heart desires to be obedient and yet sometimes I fail to obey. I fail to be the woman I want to be, sometimes I can fail big. In public. I too desire grace.
I read Duet 10:12-21 my heart stops and I must ask MYSELF if this is true of me. I must search my heart to see if I am living a life that clearly obeys what God says. The question I ask are…
- Do I fear the Lord my God?
- Do I live in a way that pleases Him?
- Do I serve Him with all my heart and soul?
- Do I always obey His commands?
- Do I chose to pursue God above all others?
- Is my heart stubborn?
- Do I show love to the orphans, widows and foreigners around me?
- Do I worship God alone?
- Do I cling to God alone?
In other parts of Deuteronomy I am reminded that God is a holy God and He hates sin. He requires holiness in my life. He requires that I do not live in the ways of the nations around me, but that I live according to His ways, His laws.
“BUT”, you say, “That is the law, we live under grace!”
That is truth. We do live under grace and no longer live as slaves to the law. Jesus came that we might be free of the bondage to sin. We are freed from sin. Sin is no longer our master and we are no longer under the law. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6-8)
Just because we live under grace does not mean we have freedom to break the law and live as we please. When we enter into grace (the new covenant, the covenant of Jesus’s blood) we are shown mercy. We are not given freedom to sin.
Romans 12 (and many other NT verses) also should cause us to ask the same questions as Deuteronomy propels me to ask.
- Do I live a life that is holy and acceptable to God?
- Do I conform to the world around me?
- Am I allowing the Spirit to conform me to the image of the Son or is the world around me conforming me to their image?
- Do I abhor evil?
- Do I cling to good?
- Do I love those around me? My brothers, neighbors, and enemies?
These questions aren’t that different. We are set free from the law. Upholding the law does not save us. Living by a set of laws do not make me righteous. In fact the law shows me just how unrighteous and unholy I really am. I CAN NOT live up to the law.
Thank you Jesus thet I do not have to! I now live by FAITH through Jesus Christ! I obey because Christ lives in me. I am now led by the Spirit not the law. Meaning, I will no longer live under the law (my flesh) but I will live under the Spirit of God. (Gal 3-5)
If I live by the Spirit in me then I will also walk by the Spirit. (Gal 5:25)
So today I am challenged and reminded that I have been FREED from sin. I no longer live in bondage to my flesh (the law). I am FREE to live in bondage to the Spirit of Christ and to serve Him all the rest of eternity.