Love, Obedience, And Choice
When someone does not follow the direction of their leader or manager at work, they face corrective action. Within society there are consequences to breaking the law such as fines and jail time. And in relationships, not honoring each others requests often ends in frustration and divorce. All of these outcomes we understand. And it is easy to understand how these outcomes could be avoided if we just played by the rules. The fact of the matter is, we are making a choice. We are choosing to honor and value something else more than what a person is requesting from us. This sends a very clear message to the other person that they are not as important, and not as valued. And while it is not fair to expect perfection from anyone, it is pretty easy to tell when someone is making an honest mistake and when they are not even trying.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” – Deuteronomy 6:6
In the same way, God does not expect perfection from us in following His commandments. That is why He sent Jesus Christ to save us from our imperfections. But God knows our hearts and when we are not even trying. He knows when we are honoring something else higher. He knows when we value something more. But God wants us to choose to honor and follow Him. He does not want us to follow His commands begrudgingly. God does not want us to obey His commandments because we have to, and because someone else told us to. Today’s scripture reminds us that these commandments are to be on our hearts. That means that we are to understand them and meditate on them, thinking about them often. God wants us to obey them because our hearts have been transformed, and because we want to, because we long to. And we want nothing more than to be close to God. And just like in human relationships, we cannot expect to be close to God when we separate ourselves from him by doing things deliberately outside of His Will.
But we can honor God by impressing His laws upon on hearts, the organ that pumps our very own life blood. And with these laws on our hearts, His goodness and mercy will flow through our veins. Our actions will line up with our convictions. We will walk in His righteousness. We get out of our own way and allow the Holy Spirit in us to shine and to guide us to the very blessings that He has for us on earth as in heaven. That is what God wants with us. He wants the most central and critical part of us, our hearts. So in all things we do for the love of God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, not because we have to, but because we value nothing more.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for your commandments. Let them penetrate the deepest part of our hearts, and let our lives be transformed. Transform us from the inside out. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, and fill us with more of You. Thank you for everything that you have done for us, and thank you for all that you continue to do on our behalf Lord. We choose to honor you Lord because we are overwhelmed by your goodness and mercy. We choose to honor you with our words, thoughts, and deeds because we want nothing more than to be close to you. We receive you and impress your desires upon our hearts, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Deuteronomy 5,6; Psalm 43; Mark 14
Image courtesy of: pedrosimoes7