We live in a culture that bombards us with choices. Choices regarding what we will wear, eat and drink. Where we will live, how we will entertain ourselves, what car to drive, what career to choose, what school is right for our children, whether to shop online or face to face, whether to show hospitality to our neighbor or not bother. Could it be that we have become swamped with too many choices and options, yet not enough convictions?
Having choices and options fosters a spirit of independence. A spirit of self-reliance. A spirit that prompts us to become the god of our own life. And this is, at the core, a spirit of rebellion against God.
Similarly, this approach has infiltrated into our Christianity. Attending church, serving the Lord, loving our neighbor, reading the Bible, sharing our faith and earnest prayer have become choices we make depending upon our circumstances and mood in the moment. We are no longer convicted about our behavior but choose to do as we please. Yet as God’s people, we don’t get to choose, for we are not our own.
1 Corinthians 6:20 “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
With all these choices, we neglect our duty of seeking first God and His commands. God and His commandments mustn’t become just another option. God is not to be obeyed depending on our feelings, and circumstances. God is to be obeyed – period. And yet we have lost the desire to obey Him, especially if it makes us uncomfortable, unsafe and unusual.
Let’s not be uninformed of exactly what God requires of His children.
Deuteronomy 10:12: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
This passage doesn’t leave any room for an undivided heart. God must be our single consuming priority. Rather than loving God selectively, we must love Him with a wholehearted devotion. This is the bottom line. This is a clarion call to get back to the basics of our faith. And this is a matter of obedience.
Obedience to God’s call is ‘for our own good.’ God is certainly not out to make our life miserable. He is no killjoy. He has His heart set on our good. Is our heart set on that too? Only idolaters attempt to love God and something else as well. And that something else is far from what is good. Let’s ensure that our confession aligns with our practice. Sadly, too many verbalize their love for God, but their actions fail to prove this.
Jesus said in John 14:15 that only those who keep His commandments truly love Him. Love fails when we disobey. However, obedience is the fruit of love, and as a result of this obedience, “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them (John 14:23). What a rich reward! This is an amazing promise that is undoubtedly ‘for our good.’
We have tragically created an easy, feel-good gospel that accommodates every option and choice that we can devise at the expense of truly loving God and fulfilling His commands. The enemy has cleverly created subtle diversions that keep us looking for a new option to satisfy our fleshly desires. Let’s examine our ways. Are our priorities physical or spiritual, heavenly or earthly? Are our affections divided? What are we seeking first? Let’s get back to the basics of loving the Lord God in deed and truth. It’s what we do, not what we say that counts before the Lord. Our dear Savior, Jesus, whom we have offended with our disobedience, is ready to forgive and restore us in a right relationship with Him. Nothing we have done can undo His love for us.
Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‘Father, I confess my failure to love and serve You with my whole heart. I have been distracted by lesser gods. Today I rededicate my life to You and ask that You would help me to love Jesus fully with all my heart, soul and strength, regardless of the cost. Amen.’