I have learned many things about God the past 40 years. Perhaps one of the biggest is that He is far less of a stickler for rules than many believe yet far more interested in our doing what He says than most believe. In many respects, God appears to be difficult to understand and that is as it should be seeing how He is God and we are mere mortals.
There is no one in the Bible who knew God better and whose life manifests more of the fullness of the nature of God than David. God says of David in the Book of Acts that he was a man after His own heart. This is really quite a profound statement in light of not only the magnificent things David did but also the horrible lapses in judgment he was prone to. David proves that God is not strictly looking at what we do but rather upon our hearts.
It is no secret that I despise religion, legalism and the whole concept of putting a believer into a tiny box through a mile long list of "Thou shalt nots". All the laws in existence cannot force a person to be good. You cannot legislate morality.
I recently heard about a couple who has one child who is nearly three years old and is only allowed out of the house to go to church. The parents are so paranoid of the child falling prey to some mysterious sickness or being run over by a car, or kidnapped that they keep the poor kid cooped up in the house. If ever there were a child guaranteed to have major problems later in life it is this one.
Christianity is littered with groups which have tried this approach to purity. They become social recluses and assume that by huddling in their tiny church and ignoring the world in which they live that they will automatically be upright and righteous. Unfortunately, in groups such as this, when a child grows up he many times breaks away and never looks back.
From the Garden of Eden unto the present, the overwhelming desire of God has been for His people to obey His Word. During the thousands of years when there was no written Word of God, people such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph managed to live righteously. How was this possible? How did men and women live in righteously when they had no written Word of God to follow?
These are questions which haunt many people and they are very legitimate. The fine line between obedience and legalism has caused many a Christian to stumble and fall. This is why we must constantly strive to grow in our understanding of not only the Word of God but the WILL OF GOD. What allowed David to be a man after God's own heart is that he KNEW God s heart.
I grew up in a denomination which constantly struggled to find the balance between legalism and liberalism. I suspect many others deal with this issue as well. I have seen the type of situation you describe countless times; obeying the "letter of the law" but not having it written upon their hearts.
I'd read Jesus' response to what the greatest law was numerous times. Then, I remember when I really, truly paid attention to what Jesus was saying. When we follow this one single law, everything else will fall into place. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Everything else hangs upon that.
One of the things I have observed about legalism is there is no love. Oh, they may claim to do it out of "love" but trust me... there is no love for people; there is only love of the law. Does this sound familiar?
I've seen enough religious zeal to last a life time trampling upon and then ostracizing weeping, broken and bloodied souls. How God must weep at that!
May we all learn to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength so that we might know Him and share Him with a broken and wounded world!
There's a billion free costly packages in this world, I should know, I was foolish enough to think I invented some new ones... But there is a very simple and basic fact about Christianity, the love from God our Father is the only reason it exist... Thanks for pointing to the right direction... Sincerely Tim.
That is true, it was Moses who wrote the first 5 books of the OT, starting from Genesis.
Prior to Moses, there were no recorded word but GOD was with them, that is
Abraham..Joseph. Because GOD was with them, they were able to live righteously
according to his will. If we know his WORD then we will know his will and his
"These are questions which haunt many people and they are very legitimate. The fine line between obedience and legalism has caused many a Christian to stumble and fall. This is why we must constantly strive to grow in our understanding of not only the Word of God but the WILL OF GOD. What allowed David to be a man after God's own heart is that he KNEW God s heart."
The Will of God is always found in the Word of God. The Word is what allowed (empowered) King David to be a man after God's own heart.
Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Notice in this vrs that; keeping his testimonies is... seeking him with the whole heart, they are one in the same.
All of the Word of God is God. 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
May I be so bold to say, the Word of God is the heart of God. Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Lord Jesus, fill us with you; the Living Word of God, so that we will never stumble and fall.