Do you know what one of the hardest things to do is? Follow rules. If you’re told to walk, not run, you want to run. If you’re told to start working on an assignment now, you wait until the last minute. If you’re told to sit still in church, you usually squirm, and even stifle laughter that disrupts the pews behind and in front of you—you know, all three pews looking at you wondering what on earth could be that funny when all that’s going on is a children’s sermon about being happy that God loves you (ahem).
When God saved his people by bringing them out of Egypt, he gave them some basic rules. No texting at the table; no hitting your sister; get to bed early on a school night; don’t blame your dad for putting the dishes away in the wrong spot and confusing everyone when it was really you…you know, the for-your-own-good type. God said, “Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23). But you know what happened next. All of the real 10 Commandments were broken. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” So, God’s covenant with his people DIDN’T WORK. Luckily, God KNEW this and just wanted to prove a point. You know, that time when you don’t appreciate something you never knew you needed? It’s like the kids of this generation never experiencing slow or no internet, or my generation never having to drive on a long trip without a cell phone in hand to call Mom when we get lost…. But all those who lived without internet or cell phones appreciate them that much more. So God had to make this covenant with man so that when he made his new covenant, the one where he sent his only Son TO DIE, it would be appreciated and we would have the chance to understand and not take it for granted. NOW, once a person has prayed to receive Christ, Christ lives INSIDE THEM. And, if we let Christ live THROUGH us, the rules will be followed AUTOMATICALLY. (Loophole?)
Steve McVey says in Grace Walk, “Jesus gave His life FOR us so that He could give His life TO us and live His life THROUGH us” (70). Whoa! McVey tells of a new Christian’s reaction when he explained this to her: “The Christian life is easy, if you just let Him do it” (71).
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3-4 (emphasis mine)
God has provided the easier way to follow the rules. The loopholes? Here are some examples of some loopholes that have come about in the last decade or two: Now, you don’t have to wait for day or weeks when you send a letter to get one back (email, Facebook, Skype, etc.); you don’t have to try and get a book published for people to read your writings (like this blog!). You don’t have to wait until you get home to call a friend or pull over and ask a stranger for directions (or spend hours trying to figure it out yourself…).
God has given you the means to follow his rules. He wants to be your God and he wants you to be his child. Have you taken the shortcut? You can’t follow the rules on your own. God still wants you to obey his rules, but he also wants you to let Christ live through you and take this gift he has given us called grace.
[Disclaimer: Though many of us have Christ inside us does not mean we won’t break the rules anymore. We live in a worldly society that keeps throwing temptations and other evil in our faces. Letting Christ live fully through you is a constant thing and you must be conscious of it. However, Christ is there and we GET to be conscious of him! For more about this grace, you can peruse some of my previous blog posts on the topic or check out the book, “Grace Walk” by Steve McVey.]
Smiling, Anna =)^2