Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
This verse really spoke to me this morning. I suppose it’s the teacher in me but I find it interesting that understanding comes before obeying. So many Christians settle on merely keeping the law, following the rules and putting a lot of energy into looking a certain way – that’s legalism. They don’t ask questions, they are afraid to rock the boat, they aren’t able to contribute much to conversation or debate and they can’t defend their faith. They resign themselves to the lie that Christianity is a list of dos and don’ts and they never experience the freedom and joy of obedience – they just do what they think they are supposed to do. Eventually, they get weary of trying to be someone they’re not, following a bunch of rules they don’t understand. They throw up their hands in frustration and and get sucked into the world’s pleasures.
I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.
John D. Rockefeller
It’s true. This world doesn’t offer much to us, in terms of living a purpose filled life. The alternative? Take the time to understand why we do what we do. Ask questions. Dig. Study. Talk to God. Talk to others. Wrestle. Lose some sleep over it. Don’t just blindly and limply accept perceived rules and boundaries.
As much as I don’t agree with the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to my door, I greatly admire the fact that they REALLY know what they believe and they are passionate about it. As Christians, it’s easy to fall into a lifestyle that works for us, but when temptation comes or when the going gets tough, we have all sorts of excuses why we didn’t obey and we see ourselves as having the right to be the exception. I really believe that many Christians fall because their understanding of what and why they believe is paper thin and centimeters deep. There is just an immature acceptance that it’s right, disguised as faith and, in the long run, that isn’t going to anchor us securely to truth.
God has given us a mind to understand. We need “to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks (us) to give the reason for the hope that (we) have. (1 Peter 3:15)