Stick to the script.
Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2 Chronicles 15).
Though we are free to do what we want, we are bound by a set of beliefs and principles. There’s a creed that most people live by, passed down through generations. Our convictions keep us from compromising who we are. In the face of opposition or pressure, we can stand firm and act in good conscience. Each person, family or organization is defined by principles that they hold; faith, respect, human dignity, honesty, love, and the list goes on. They are willing to make sacrifices to ensure that their integrity is kept for generations.
28 Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God; their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding— 29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of The Lord our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes (Nehemiah 10).
The children of Israel had to separate themselves from the other nations around them, to have their own identity. They were knit together by The Law of God which they made an oath to keep and uphold. This was the framework of their marriages, their households, and their service to God and others. There’s no nation without laws.
Being set apart from others who don’t share the same values is the first step to being set apart for God. It requires submitting to God in obedience and not trying to keep up with the world’s standards. We can’t live outside the world, but we can apply God’s Ways to how we live in it. God didn’t create a separate earth for His people; He settled them among others. The Lord Jesus didn’t come to take us out of this world but to teach us how to live for The Father in it.
We enter into a covenant relationship with God to observe and do as He has instructed us, according to His Word. Our allegiance to Him, as His children, is an oath to walk in His Ways. Our lives should be defined by a steadfast resolve to live by godly principles. We have to pass down to our children the values that make up our identity in Christ. Every sphere of our influence should be governed by God’s Laws. They keep us unified with others in The Body of Christ. Just as every state or nation operates by its separate laws, we have God’s Commandments that are the guiding principles to our existential needs.
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and sought earnestly for God. 35 Then they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer. 36 Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongue; 37 For their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant. 38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath (Psalm 78).
As the children of Israel received God’s Goodness, they began to be obstinate and rebellious. When they broke their covenant with Him, He destroyed them. Before making a pledge to God, remember He is not man to toy with. He is not fooled by flattery when everything is going hunky-dory. He does His Good Will for His People because of Who He is—Holy and Good. Let your heart be steadfast with Him by remembering Who He is. Never forget that God is the making of your success and downfall. He is The Most High God just as He is still The Redeemer. He forgives those who repent of their transgressions, because of His Compassion and Mercy. He relents on His Anger, when we earnestly seek Him.
16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen (Jeremiah 6).’
The latest fads are not as new as people think. Ideas come from past experiences that are improved to meet present needs. Unlike humans, who change their mind on a whim, God is unchanging. The Creator of the universe holds everything in order by His Wisdom. The old paths of God are not old at all; they are good ways that we can walk in today, for generations to come. We can trust in His time-tested Truth that can be applied to every area of our lives. Those who refuse to heed, are warned to return back to His Ways. The path to rest and peace is the way that always leads to God. Walk steadfastly in the path God has already curved out, since the beginning of creation.
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5).
The Law of God has always been the guide for godly living. It has existed since the beginning of early generations, and will outlive the universe. It is the trademark for The Kingdom of God and all of Its citizens. The Son of God came to fulfill the Law by obeying it. How much more the children of God? Know it by heart and delight in it. Christ didn’t come to destroy God’s Law, He came to teach us as He had taught Israel; to love God with all our being and love our neighbors as ourselves.
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22).”
The Law of Love fulfills the righteousness in Christ. Made a new creation for The Kingdom, we must adorn ourselves with the image of Christ. We are warned to do and teach others to observe The Law of God. Just as the children of Israel had the Law given by Moses, we must abide by The Law that Christ fulfilled.
We have to be clear headed about the choices that shape our lives. God has given us His Instructions, Commandments and The Holy Spirit to guide and keep us from paths of destruction. We must first be set apart for Him and be wholly submitted to Him. The wisdom we gain from obedience protects us from temptation and enables us to enjoy an eternal relationship with our God. He furnishes us with every good gift that’s life-enhancing and lavishes us with His Grace when we acknowledge our sin. He is Good and is The Most High God.
We are His children who have been endowed with principles and values that make up our identity in Christ. We have to be steadfast to love God with all our being, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Every area of our life will be impacted by our steadfast heart for godliness. We belong to The Kingdom of God and here on earth we have begun our journey as children of God.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1).