Keep my commands and you will live. – Proverbs 7:2a
Solomon opens this passage with a recurring theme we have seen now through these first seven chapters. He warns the reader, “his son,” to heed his sage advice and that doing so will bring him life. The noted passage above spoke of an earthly father’s advice to his son, but it is an inspired writing given by the Holy Spirit. There is a greater warning given to us in it by our heavenly Father. God tells us to “keep [His] commands and [we] will live.”
Some days, my daily devotion comes at me after long contemplation of the passage I read. The Spirit speaks to me but not always at first. However, today, His message leapt off the page at me, and it was so obvious! He says, “Keep my commandments, and you will live.” How much plainer and simpler can it be put by God?
The problem therein lies with us and not God. Many of us say we obey God’s commands out of love (some out of obligation or religious observance), but there seems to be a disconnect in the church today, especially here in America. We appear to have a form of Godliness but deny its power. We say on one hand that we trust God and rely upon him, but why, then, is there such a lack of demonstrations of His power in this postmodern world in which we live?
The answer is simple. Most Christians really don’t believe God can do what He says He will do. They rely upon themselves and hold back parts of their lives that they won’t surrender to God. We have to submit ALL of ourselves to God in loving obedience to Him, or we are not obeying Him at all. The Law said that to disobey one part of the Law was to be guilty of disobeying it all! Well, under the New Covenant, we can look at this way – partial obedience is complete disobedience. It was true under the Law as well as it is under Grace.
We either obey God, or we don’t. When we obey God out of love for Him, we have Life through Him. He is our Life. Paul taught us to live this life we have now in faith because the Messiah lives in us and is the Life that we have.
Outside of the atoning work of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross, there is no life. He is THE LIFE! He said that if we love Him, we will obey Him! Do you really love God? Do you obey Him because of your love for Him? Or is the light is in you darkness? Jesus warned us about the light in us. We are to be sure that it is His Light and not darkness.
Father, help me to be more obedient to Your commands. I am not preaching legalistic observation of the Mosaic Law. I merely want to be so in love with You that sin has no place in my life and that there would be no desire for evil lusts of any kind. I desire to be holy as You are holy. Thus, I draw near to You, so that You will draw near to me. Also, I desire to find You while You are able to be found. Help me to see where I am lacking in love and thus in disobedience, so that I may address those issues through the power of Your Holy Spirit. There is much work still to be done in me. I need Your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.