Showing posts with label law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law. Show all posts

Oct 8, 2013

What Is God's Will for Me?

Sometimes it's hard to know if a task set before us is something God wants us to do. The difference between the old covenant law and the new covenant law gives us some insight.

God gave Moses the law written on tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18). Today, under the new covenant, the law is written on our living hearts (Romans 2:15).

When something feels like a heavy weight on our shoulders, an obligatory should, a pressure from outside ourselves, that is usually the tablets of stone. When I feel this way, I question whether it is from God.

When the impetus to do something comes from within, a pressure from the inside wanting to get out, that is usually the law written on our hearts. The thing may be difficult and take us out of our comfort zone, but it comes from inside.

Of course, this is not infallible. There are often things that feel weighty and obligatory that obviously have to be done, like changing a dirty diaper or mopping the floor. On the other hand, a compelling desire can come from within and be totally wrong for us. But this principle has proven to be true many times for me as I have sought the Lord's will. I hope that when you are facing a decision it may be helpful to you as well.

Mar 17, 2009

Checklist Christianity

"No need for Christ to die"?! Surely we don't mean to dismiss the cross and the grace of God when we succumb to rule-keeping and following our shoulds and oughts rather than the Spirit of God. But this is what it says:

No one will ever be made right with God by obeying [rules]. ... Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of [rules] I already tore down. For when I tried to [follow all the rules, I felt condemned]. So ... I stopped trying to [do everything I should do] so that I might live for God ... by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ... If keeping [rules] could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. (Galatians 2:16-21)

A law, a rule, or a should is anything burdensome that comes from without. By that I mean it feels like a heavy weight pressing on the shoulders. An obligation. But God's commands are not burdensome because they come from within. (1 John 5:3; 2 Corinthians 3:3) God's direction is like a pressure coming from the inside out. It is something God wants to do through us.

Do not think you can gain more of God's favor or love by fulfilling more obligations. You already have both in fullness through Christ. The only purpose of the law is to convince us of our inadequacy and need for God. (Galatians 3:23-25) Once we know Christ intimately, we are free to throw out our checklists and live by the Spirit. (Colossians 2:14; Romans 7:6) Let's cast off the training wheels of the law and dare to live for God!


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Sep 25, 2008

Scandalous! God Desires a Love Affair With *You*

God doesn't want a religious checklist from you, He wants a love affair! He wants to commune with you throughout the day. It is not less holy to brush your teeth, change a dirty diaper, or give a presentation at work than it is to pray. The blood of Jesus makes every part of your life holy, and He wants to be a part of it all.

Now, don't get me wrong. Prayer is important. Intercession is important. Prayerlessness is sin! But if your quiet time has degenerated into an obligatory list of drudgery-filled tasks. Give it up for a while. Allow your soul to respond to the wooing of the Holy Spirit. Get greedy for God. Experience him in an afternoon cup of coffee, a walk in nature, or a nap. Hear his voice at every crossroad. Look for Him all around you for He is there! Feel His presence envelop you. Rest.

I just don't see Jesus in the Bible waking up every morning an hour before the disciples to go through scrolls of Scripture and His list of the probably thousands of people who had asked Him for prayer. From time to time, He would go to lonely, quiet places in nature and commune with His Papa-- sometimes in preference to sleep! That is passion. Jeremiah had it. He said to God, "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty" (Jeremiah 15:16 emphasis mine).

Passion is what God wants from us, and a legalistic, dogmatic quiet time can ruin it. Putting ourselves under a set of rules and obligatory "shoulds" actually arouses the sinful nature! (Romans 6:5 b NIV). "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, an do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ... For in Christ neither [a quiet time] nor [a missed quiet time] has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:1-6 NIV [my words in brackets]).


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Sep 11, 2008

Guilt vs. Guidance

I believe God never motivates His children by fear or guilt. Those are tools of the Enemy. The moment we received Christ’s gift of salvation, we were made completely clean in the blood of the Lamb. Our guilt is taken away!

When the Holy Spirit convicts us, wants us to go somewhere or do something, He comes up alongside us. You can almost feel His arm around you and see Him pointing with the other hand, "We're headed over this way. Let's take the first step together." And something resonates within you and wants to go, is ready to go, even if its out of your comfort zone.

However, if instead, one has a guilty, obligatory, I-really-should feeling coming from the outside, if it feels like a weight on the shoulders, it’s probably not God, for the law is no longer written on tablets of stone but on our living hearts.

Another red flag is when it feels like, “I have to have it and I have to have it NOW!” That’s probably the loudmouthed sin nature. The voice of the S/spirit is soft and still.

If a desire or direction comes from God, it grows like a pressure within the heart, or “gut,” trying to get out. It may be something you want very much (or not) but there is peace and assurance. That’s God wanting to express Himself through you. Don’t be afraid to follow! Let’s both learn to live from the inside out!

Cyndi Hearts
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