When I was in my late teens, I read "The Pilgrim's Regress" by C.S. Lewis. The story begins by introducing us to a boy named John who was living in Puritania. Like all the inhabitants of Puritania, John soon learned that Puritania belonged to The Landlord and he was taken to the Steward so that he might become acquainted with the rules and not break them.
To John's surprise, the Steward is wearing a mask. He reads from the list of rules with the mask on but then removes it, contradict that rule, wink, put the mask back on and continues to read. The Steward aso gives John a mask like his to wear as well.
Though much of this book went over my head at the time, I'm afraid I understood this part very well. You see I, like John, was also given a long "list" as a child and told that I needed to follow this list or else! Aside from the fact that it was a long list and I was a small girl, it was impossible to follow. I soon learned that there were a lot of people wearing masks... including me. I don't like to wear masks. They can become hot and uncomfortable. They can obstruct your vision and they prevent others from seeing you... the real you. Whether we like it or not, it is important for the real you to be seen.
I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that we can live any way we please, ignoring what God has told us. What I am suggesting is that far too often Christians are being given a list of rules that have been made up by someone and that those are their rules, not God's. There is a difference! So what does God require of us?
In the book of Micah, God makes a complaint against the people of Israel. He questions them, "What have I done to make you turn away from me?" Then God talks about how He had brought them out of Egypt and redeemed them from slavery. He talkes about how He was with them and delivered them.
Here is the response of Israel:
What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
Micah 6:6-7 (NLT)
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NLT)
God has revealed to us through His Word what is good and this is what He requires of us:
That seems pretty straightforward to me. What about you?
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Great blog K. As I was reading it my question was 'what is the right we are supposed to be doing?'. Then I remember Jesus teaching "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." And people say understanding God's word is complicated. Thank you for your faithfulness in sharing what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you.
Your brother in Christ,
The verse from Micah is one of my favourite - thanks I enjoyed your blog.
Yes. GOD is grace and love. GOD is a forgiving GOD. Some time, we may fall. But, GOD will forgive us and empower us. Nearly everyday, I have some bad demeanors that I know I trespass GOD. Nearly, everyday, have to pray for GOD's spare. Pray for GOD continuous invigoration so that I could continue to run towards the trophy. Thanks for sharing.