Recently, I was talking to a brother in the Lord, and I remembered a message I sent about three years ago. It was entitled, “First Learning About the Law.” What I was discussing is that when Yehoveh first gave the Law to Moses, at Mt. Sinai, the laws were nothing more than idealistic theory to the people. Kind of what it might be for you . . . there was this long list of do’s and don’ts, rituals and observances, crimes and punishments, set down for Israel to obey; but they neither understood how these might apply to everyday life, nor (in many cases) why they had to do (or not do) these things in the first place. What possible useful purpose could these regulations serve? So many of these commands and ordinances seemed arbitrary and capricious and much too hard. Before you read this far into our studies, you probably had the same problem.
It’s kind of like when we were teenagers, preparing for our first drivers license. We had to read an annoying little book about the traffic laws, and retain it long enough to pass the test so we could get our license and be able to participate in that American rite of passage into adulthood: driving a car. But, the purpose of these traffic laws was often a mystery to us. In fact, many of them seemed to be rather ridiculous, so we had no plan on obeying them when we finally got our licenses and actually started driving without mom or dad sitting next to us. For most of us, it took a series of tickets, fender benders, and insurance rate hikes before we got the message that first, the laws are real and not just theory, and secondly, the consequences for violating these laws—whether we thought them wise or stupid—could range from irritating to severe.
In other words, principles have to be put into practice to move from theory to reality. Haven’t you seen this truth played out in your own life? If the law had been given to Israel, and then they just sat there, ensconced at the foot of Mt. Sinai; if they just gathered the manna God provided each day, looked up each day at the majestic mountain top where the Law was given, and raised their flocks and herds in peace and quiet, most of the Law would just have remained theory to them. They needed to move on, experience life, deal with everyday circumstances, face difficulties and challenges, endure hardships, stumble and fall, and make difficult and less-than-clear-cut choices in order for the wisdom and purpose of these divine principles to become real; and for the Israelites to learn how to apply them so that God’s commands became a settled matter to their minds and hearts.
It’s no different for our Christian walk with the Lord. It’s a journey, not a sit. If we accept Christ, and then never move forward, accept risks, take paths that look a bit fearful; if we just stay in a place of nothing but warmth, and provision, and comfort, then most of what Christ wants us know, will be nothing but theory. A nice thought; a warm and fuzzy feeling.
It’s only when we step out and move forward, putting into practice those Godly principles that they become real to us. It’s our experiences that solidifies our trust and affirms our faith.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
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It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.