So We Know the Will of God
This week, we continue our discussion on the importance of the phrase, “then they will know that I am the Lord their God” in the Bible. We see different versions of this statement throughout the Old Testament in various scenarios. He used it when dispensing justice to His disobedient children, and He used it when granting mercy as well. Today we’ll talk about how He used it when giving laws.
We’ll examine three reasons God provides laws for His people. 1. So we know how to live within the protective boundaries of God’s will. 2. So we remember who God is. 3. So we can discover who we are.
God’s Laws Provide Protective Boundaries
We talked a lot about the idea of freedom in July, but it is worth repeating that freedom is not the same as having no boundaries. Laws (human and God’s) provide a framework for behavior that protects communities and individuals.
Speed limits are in place to protect everyone on the roads, not to keep you from making “good time” while driving from point A to point B.
God’s laws are in place to direct you to behaviors that honor Him, yourself, and those around you. He isn’t trying to keep you from “having fun.” He’s helping you make choices that support a vibrant life.
God wants what is best for you. He loves you and seeks your good. As an added bonus, He knows the future. Now, if you believe that God loves you, wants the best for you, and knows the future, it only makes sense to follow Him wherever He leads and to seek His will.
God’s laws direct us to God’s will. When we choose to live outside of God’s laws, we are stepping away from Him and distancing ourselves from His protection. Just as speeding may result in getting into a wreck, exceeding God’s limits of behavior may cause you and others avoidable harm.
Remember, when you get in a car wreck there are two parties involved. The one who caused the wreck and the one who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The same is true for sin. No one lives in a bubble and our choices impact other people.
God’s Laws are Reminders of Who God Is
The word “sin” has become taboo in our society. People don’t like the idea of sin because they cling to the illusion that if they don’t “feel” guilty then they aren’t guilty. They believe that sin is a made up construct to chain people to old-fashioned ideas.
Sin is disobedience that separates us from God. Sin means that we’ve missed the mark in a certain area. We drift away from God’s plan. We drift away from God.
God doesn’t like this separation and offers forgiveness so that we can draw close to Him. Take a moment to consider God’s holiness and perfection. How can we hope to be near such glory? On our own, we can’t.
Now, remember that God’s laws require justice. And that God allowed that justice to fall upon His Son to pay for our sins. I hope you feel a sense of awe over the realization that God’s love for you is that great!
God’s will is so intent on drawing us near despite our shortcomings, that He died to enable us to enter His presence. God wants us near Him more than anything. That’s a love that overwhelms the soul and lifts us out of hopelessness.
That love should assure us that the limits He puts on our behavior are for our benefit. It should give us confidence, hope, joy, and trust in our Savior. And it should inspire us to seek God in every area of our lives.
God’s Laws Reveal Who We Are
When we live within God’s will, we develop a closer relationship with Him. We are drawn into His presence and our natural, deceitful desires are brought into the light of God’s truth. Lust, greed, pride, fear, hatred, and other human tendencies are revealed for what they truly are: barriers to God’s presence and roads that lead to destructive behaviors.
When we ask God to show us harmful patterns in thought and emotional responses, He’ll lovingly point them out and shine His light on them. Seeing our behavior in His light makes the habits and thought patterns we justify with things like, “that’s just the way I am” seem like paltry excuses for our misbehavior.
When we submit to God’s will, He cleans away the dust and grime of this world. He chips away the callouses on our hearts to reveal the person He created us to be. Bad habits and sinful ways lose their ability to control us as we choose to obey God’s laws and seek His will.
As a kid, I loved the movie “The Labyrinth.” The main character, Sarah, has trouble remembering a line from her book and always forgot a key part. At the end of the movie, she’s facing the evil king and repeating the book’s powerful speech to break his control. She gets to the pivotal point and finally remembers the most important line: “You have no power over me.”
Just like that, the spell is broken, her brother is saved, and all is right with the world. All because she remembered she could choose not to let evil have control over her. And that’s the power we have through the grace of God. His law grants us this power. We simply need to remember who we are. Repeat after me, “I am a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, a student of the Holy Spirit. God gives me freedom, therefore, sin has no power over me.”
It is time to throw off the shackles that keep us believing that we are anything other than someone created in God’s image. Reject the lie that we have the power to “find ourselves” on our own or that we can become “self-made.” God made us, He knows who we are, and He longs to teach us our true identity in Him. The first step; know that He is the Lord our God.
Father, thank You for Your laws that guide and direct our steps. Thank you for teaching us Your ways and leading us to Your will. Forgive us when we falter, strengthen us when we are weak, and remind us that through You, sin has no power over us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.