Word for Wednesday… Rest and Obedience
Happy are they whom you instruct, O LORD! whom you teach out of your law; to give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked.Psalm 94:12-13
With the summer vacation season now well underway, many people are finalizing their plans for their time away…where they want to go, what they hope to do, who they want to see, etc. This definitely describes my family. We only have so many vacation days, and we don’t want to waste any time trying to figure out what to do once we get to wherever we’re going. Plus, we think making decisions is stressful, so we want to have all the decisions made ahead of time. And of course, some things just require advance planning, like making reservations. But not everybody approaches vacations this way. For some people, their idea of a restful and relaxing vacation is one that has nothing on the schedule, and no rules or plans. They just want to go somewhere and do whatever they feel like doing in the moment; whatever they happen to be in the mood for. That’s fine if that is the way somebody wants to approach their vacation, but it’s not a good way to approach the life of faith, at least for the person who wants to experience God’s salvation.
One of the biggest criticisms people will levy against Christianity is that it has too many rules, or laws. They feel trying to follow all these rules is stressful, and a hindrance to their fun, freedom and spontaneity. Many Christians approach their faith this way, believing it’s possible to experience the fullness of their salvation while having no regard for the rules whatsoever. Certainly it’s not following the rules that saves us, but God’s grace, and I’m not suggesting otherwise. However, following the rules will make our lives easier, more stress-free, and more restful, than it ever would be otherwise. God gave us rules, like the Ten Commandments, not to make our lives boring or less-than-fun, but to help us navigate through this sinful world in the best way possible, to leave this world with as few scars as we are able. I’ve known so many followers of Jesus who have disregarded his laws, and found themselves in a sea of chaos, pain and heartache that could have all been avoided if they had lived their lives the way God intended. Many of them will go so far as to blame God for their situation. If you want the best life possible, a restful life, live in obedience. It won’t always be easy, but God is more than willing to help you.