A ditch God’s people sometimes fall into is to make obedience to God’s commandments the goal.
That’s what happened to the Israelites shortly after God used Moses to lead them out of slavery in Egypt. God promised to provide for them everything they needed, and more, if they would be obedient to His commands (Exodus 19:1-6).
All the Israelites responded in unison: “All that Jehovah has spoken we will do!”
If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll remember that God next spoke to the Israelites from a very ominous cloud covering Mt. Sinai. Here God spoke the 10 Commandments. Since that day, many people have adopted these words as a set of guidelines or rules for life—a checklist to make sure they are living right. I’ve done the same.
That’s a good thing.
The problem arises when obedience becomes the goal.
The Israelites said they’d obey, then promptly made mess by turning the worship of Jehovah into a pagan party, dancing to a golden calf.
They heard God’s words but didn’t receive and surrender to their transforming power.
The 10 Commandments are a promise from God of what the blessing of His grace will accomplish in His people.
When God speaks, His words possess awesome power to create and transform matter.
We see this on a magnificent scale by His creation of the heavens and earth and everything in them (Genesis 1), on a smaller scale when Jesus calmed a storm (Mark 4:35-39), and in a very personal way when Jesus words healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-12).
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)
Our goal needs to be to receive God’s word into our life so that by the power or the Holy Spirit He can accomplish His will in us. When we receive the word and surrender to God’s power, we abide in Christ. This should be our daily goal.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
The transformation is God’s work. We can’t recreate ourselves.
The fruit of receiving and surrendering to God’s word is obedience to His commandments demonstrated in loving others more than ourselves.
Jesus is the Goal.
When you put on Jesus, what will people see in your home, your workplace, or your church and community?
Make it your goal to put on Jesus every day by surrendering to the power of His Word in your life.