Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Relationship With God

Romans 10:5
Leviticus 18:1-5
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The Israelites were given all the information they needed to live yet they weren't able to keep the Law. They could know a lot about God from His character revealed in the Law, yet they didn't know Him or His righteousness because they didn't love Him with their hearts or follow Him through faith. No matter how hard they tried to obey His Law, they always failed, finding themselves unable to keep every aspect of it all the time. The Law which should have brought life to them brought death instead (Rom 7:10) as there are so many rules in it that can hardly be kept straight let alone lived out every moment of every day. And what do you do when a particular situation seems to pit one aspect of the Law against another (cf Lk 14:1-6)?
We can have the same misguided attitude toward the Law or toward our salvation in Christ. We can find ourselves hopelessly entangled in applying the rules of our faith, slowly killing ourselves through what we "ought" to do, by the standards of one person or another. We can keep the Sabbath so thoroughly that it becomes a wrongdoing to enjoy a family event. We can serve so many good causes in the Church that we wear ourselves out and have no time left for prayer. We can pray so many hours of a day that it interferes with our other responsibilities. We can give so generously that we put ourselves into financial trouble and need help to pay our bills. And we can have the opposite attitude: since our righteousness comes through faith, we can live for ourselves without allowing our faith to live out the works and actions it was designed to exhibit.
What makes the difference between these errors and the faith God wants us to have? Our relationship with Him. When I love Him with all that I am (Mk 12:30), my desires become the same as His. He guides me in how to pray, when to pray, whether to serve in particular ways, the spirit of the Law, how to apply what I know of His will for me in specific situations, etc. Anything I need I can ask of Him (Mt 7:7) and He grants my request because what I am asking is for His guidance and His grace. I could read His Law all day and all night and not understand how to apply it, but by daily building a relationship with the Lord I can obey the desires He has for me in every circumstance.

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