Deuteronomy 12:8 Not Doing As You Want

You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, Deuteronomy 12:15

Freedom is something that most people desire or live for. They want the freedom to be able to make their own choices to do or say what they want, without any negative consequences.

Rules are always acceptable for ‘the other person’, but not for self. People will quickly come up with every reason under the sun as to why a particular rule should not apply to them. No one wants to be in trouble, nor have their freedom infringed upon.

Moses told the Israelites that they are not to do as they were currently doing, everyone doing as they desire or see fit to do.

While freedom is good, absolute freedom will always fall into utter chaos. Satan worked to get Adam and Eve to demand absolute freedom, which led to sin, death and being kicked out of the Garden of Eden. He is the author of chaos and death–absolute freedom to do what one wants.

All over America people are constantly, more and more, standing up for the freedom to do what they want, regardless of any rules. Being able to choose one’s own gender, who one lives with, whether a child should live or die, what drugs one desires, and much more are being demanded more and more. People want to do as they see fit.

As with the Israelites, believers should not live as the world does. Everything that a believer thinks, says or does should be governed by God’s word and His Holy Spirit.

God is a God of order, not chaos. He puts down rules for the protection and life of His people, not to destroy them or hold them back in bondage to death. Jesus died to give freedom to live for God, not for self and death.

No matter what nation you live in or what government you live under, you are under God’s rules, if you consider yourself a believer. Do not allow yourself to be corrupted by the ways of the world in doing as you see fit.

Follow God’s ways and rules that will lead to life, eternal life. Use the freedom you have been given to live for God, not self and death. Do only what God wants you to do. In the end it will bring you eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will strengthen you to resist the selfish ways of this world; that you will only do what God wants you to do; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Exodus 1:17 Who Do You Fear More?

The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Exodus 1:17

Governments and most leaders and organizations demand loyalty and obedience. When a ruling is made, it is expected to be followed without question.

The leaders with the most authority and ability to punish are often the most obeyed. People will obey them, regardless of what they are told to do, because they fear the punishment that can occur. Many will even do things that go against their personal convictions or beliefs out of fear of the leader.

The Israelites had grown to a great number in Egypt and Pharaoh wanted them dead, so ordered the midwives to kill the newborn boys. The midwives had more fear of God than of Pharaoh, so they let the boys live.

There will be times when a leader on this earth will ask people to do things that are against God’s commands. Sometimes they are very direct and openly against God, while other times they are shadier things against God. Often, the rulings are done in the name of ‘love’, though it is harmful and sin.

People are commanded to not talk negatively about homosexuality, or to allow abortion because those are freedoms that people have. Speaking in such a way is hatred and fearing the world, rather than fearing God. It is pushing people to their death in sin.

Any person who has a close relationship with God will fear God more than any man or government. The world can only make life hard and kill the body, but God can destroy the body and soul for eternity.

Every believer must make a choice to whether he will fear and trust God or if he will fear man and bow to sin and death.

No matter where you live, there will be times when the world will call on you to sin against God. Rules will be made to get you to reject God’s commands. This may be in your nation, city, job, or even in your own home.

You must be willing and ready to obey God above all others. Believing in, fearing, trusting and obeying God will bring you eternal life in the end. Believing in, fearing, trusting and obeying this world will only bring about eternal death.

Who will you fear more?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will trust God with your whole life; that you will obey all of God’s commands to you; that God will give you strength to disobey ungodly commands of this world; and that you will know God’s favor in your life.

1 John 5:3 Obeying God Is Not A Burden

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Rules are something that many people do not like to have to follow. They are good for the other person, but not for self, because they are restrictive and keep a person from really ‘living’ life.

It is common for many to see how close they can come to breaking the rule, without actually breaking it. More energy is spent in trying to get close to the line, then would be in just obeying the rule.

As John brings his letter to an end, he tells the people that love for God is keeping His commands and that His commands are not a burden.

Looking at many churches and believers, one would think that all a Christian life would be is just living a life of what to do and what not to do, with the emphasis on what not to do. Talk is often heard of what all the commands of God are, laying a heavy burden upon the people.

When the focus is on what to do or not do, the commands are difficult to follow. Believers need to change their focus from what God’s commands are to loving Him. Anyone who loves God will want to obey Him because he trusts Him completely. God’s love is perfect, so He will not give any command that is bad or difficult.

Once a person falls in love with God, he will find joy in obeying His commands. They will no longer be a burden or chore that must be done, but that want to be done.

Living will begin on a level that was never realized before because it is out of love, not duty.

You may see all the commands of God and be overwhelmed and burdened by them. Instead of looking at the commands as a burden, learn to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Get to know God’s perfect love for you.

As you begin to realize God’s love for you, you will begin to love Him back. The love you have for God will lighten the load of obeying His commands, turning them into a joy because they will bring about life.

Do not look at the commands as a must, but that you get to out of love.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God with all of your being; that you will find joy in obeying God; and that you will know the life you can have in obeying God’s commands.

Acts 15:19 Don’t Make It Difficult

It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Acts 15:19

Everywhere a person goes there are some rules or regulations guiding people how to live or work where they are at. Some places are very lenient, having very few regulations, while others are extremely strict with an overload of rules.

The more rules that are laid out, the more difficult it is for people to follow them. It can become much easier to break the rules with many rules. It can also make it very discouraging to attempt to follow all of them.

The Jewish leaders in Antioch were laying down a lot of rules for new Gentile believers to follow in order to follow God. Paul told them they should not make it difficult for the new Gentile believers as they turn towards God.

One of the constant struggles for churches is in knowing what the rules are to be and remain a believer. While many believe that believing in Jesus and repenting of sins is enough to become a follower of Jesus, there are others that add a lot more.

There are also many churches that want the new believer to clean up his life completely before becoming a member. A long list of things to do or not do is given immediately upon becoming a Christian.

While it is good to begin guiding a new believer in how to live for Christ, giving a long list can be overwhelming and discouraging. It can push people away from God, because of the impossibility of fulfilling a long list of legal regulations, just as the Israelites had a problem with following God’s Law.

The focus for new believers should be building them up, little by little in what it means to follow Jesus, not all at once.

You may be a new believer who is struggling with being burdened with a load of regulations, or you may be an older believer who loads others down with rules. Either way, do not forget that the only thing required to be a believer is to believe in Jesus and repent of sins.

God will change your heart to be able to handle more rules as you continue to grow in Him, learning to trust and obey Him in every area of your life. Do not burden yourself or others with too much, too fast.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength and wisdom to obey His commands; that you will guide new believers in the ways of the Lord; and that God will guide you in helping new believers grow in the Lord.