Who likes to be told what to do? On the flip side do you like to being told what you cannot do? I would say the answer to both questions would be ‘No’. We all have been given free will. We have the ability to choose what we will or will not do. So being told to do or not to do something can irritate us. We can choose to follow instructions to perform a task or try to do it our own way (which usually doesn’t work).
We may choose to believe that rules, laws, commands and instructions, limit our free will, but they do not. It is up to you to decide for yourself if you will follow them. Their purpose is not to restrict you, but to keep you from harm and keep you from harming another. They also teach us how to live good and productive lives, and not ones that are harmful and destructive.
When we are told to do this or not to do that we sometimes hear that spirit of rebellion whisper in our ear, ‘Who do they think they are, telling you what to do?’ (It is your choice to listen or not listen to this voice.) When someone is telling you to do something or even how to do it, it is not always about controlling you. It can be because they are trying to help you.
How many of you read the instructions before trying to put something together? When you do this do you find extra parts and does it take you longer than if you had just read and followed the instructions?
Have you ever taken a short cut to get somewhere only to get lost? When you are lost, do you stop and ask for directions? (Something many comedians have used in their routines to pick on men.) We can think that we know what we are doing and that we may know a better or quicker way, but to be honest we usually do not. God’s ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
So why is it that we continue to try to lean onto our own understanding and keep trying to do things our own way? I have an answer that will annoy any parent who reads this, ‘I don’t know’. (I hope that this made at least a few of you laugh or at least smile) Paul had discussed that he had his own struggles with doing what he knew to be wrong even he knew what he was doing was wrong and was trying hard not to. He said that his flesh fought against his spirit. Yet he encourages by saying he did not give up but chose to press on toward the goal and to finish the race.
None of us are perfect and neither does everything we do in our life is the right thing to do. Thank God for mercy and grace! One more thing to be thankful for is His commands. His Word instructs us how to live and His Spirit if we allow it to convicts us when we do what is wrong and get off the right path. He does not tell us not to do things so that we cannot enjoy ourselves, but because He does not want to see us harmed. Sin leads to death and He wants us to live. He does not make us follow His command. Jesus does tell us that if we love Him that we will follow His commands. So following His commands is acknowledging who He is and telling Him that we love Him. Even when we do something wrong we can repent and He has already forgiven us.
I hate to say it, but I sin every day. Not because I want to but because I have been doing things my own way for so long and that I do not always listen to His instructions. I still think I have to do it all on my own. Even when I give Him a part of my life I still hold on to other parts. I am not saying all this to make myself look bad or because I think I am not good enough. Thank God for His love and forgiveness. I am saying all this because even with all of my faults He does not give up on me and He keeps guiding me and teaching me His ways. I am choosing to follow Jesus Christ and listening to His instructions. I am not doing this because I have to but because that I want to. After all Father really does not best.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Blessings and prayers for you.