May 25th

 

Keeping the Law

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. Psalm 119:14 NIV

 

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 NIV

 

Driving the speed limit has been one of those areas of difficulty in my life.  In my earlier years, my driving was influenced by impatience, a tendency to be always late, a pleasure in driving fast and pride over my fast car.  I had a radar detector to facilitate my speeding, yet I found that it actually increased my stress level and fear of being caught, since they were illegal in my state at the time.  I rationalized my law-breaking with the excuse that everybody else was speeding and that the speed limits were ridiculously low.

 

I remember how God started convicting me of my bad driving after he delivered me from sex addiction.  I began to sense the Spirit’s conviction as I sped to and from work and appointments.  It was difficult to change 15 or so years of “lead foot” driving. Nevertheless, I continued to bring myself into submission to the law and began to discover a new peace I never had had before.  The impatience and stress was no longer shooting through my body.  I was more relaxed.  I no longer worried about being caught by the cops, because I wasn’t breaking the law.  I even found that I had time to concentrate on the Lord and spend time in prayer while driving.

 

I remember how one day that Lord helped me understand how driving the speed limit was part of living for God.  I was on the highway, late for an appointment. As the cars sped past me on either side, I wrestled with the anxiousness of wanting to speed up and minimize the damage of being late…again.  I felt the familiar conviction of the Holy Spirit to stick with the speed limit.  The Lord reminded me that his laws and my country’s laws were put in place for my own good.  He reminded that he commands us to obey the laws of the land:  1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2 NIV).

 

 By submitting ourselves to the laws of the land and those who enforce them, we are submitting ourselves to God and therefore honoring him.   It is also a way of putting on humility and keeping pride from getting a foothold in us.  James wrote about the problem with pride: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.7Submit yourselves, then, to God” (James 4:6-7 NIV).  Pride brings divine “opposition” into our lives, which often is in the form of discipline (Hebrews 12). Such opposition is never pleasant, so we’ll be much better off if we simply submit to God and enjoy the blessings that come as a result. 

 

I’ve used driving as an example from my life, but it may be a different area for you that is causing trouble with your relationship with God.  If you ask him to, God will reveal the areas of rebellion in your life that need to be dealt with.  As God reveals them to you, take care to respond in repentance and make changes accordingly.  This will prove your love for God and will bring blessings on our lives (Deuteronomy 30:16 NIV). 

 

Questions for further thought:

 

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for being patient, kind, merciful and gentle with me concerning the sin in my life.  Please forgive me for tolerating routine sin in my life.  I specifically repent from __________(list any areas of routine disobedience).  Father, I commit myself to bringing those areas into obedience to you.  Please help me do this and guide me with your Holy Spirit.  I trust that you will help me and strengthen me to put my disobedience to death once and for all.  Thank you, Father.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”