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Monday, August 18, 2014

Fairing well because of the rules

Can you really say you always play by the rules?  Or that you actually "enjoy" the rules established by which you are asked to live your life?  Truth be told, most of us resist the rules on occasion, or think they are not really pertinent to our lives, so we don't embrace them as we should.  I don't own a handgun, so all laws (rules) applying to firearms don't really apply to me, do they? Yet, I could go out today and acquire one - making those rules ever so important for me to understand.  I don't have to become acquainted with the rules until I need to use them within my life - convenient, huh?  Most of us deal with the rules in life in this manner - if there is not a clear-cut reason for them right now in the "here and now", then they are good to have, but we don't go out of our way to learn them.  Now, in the sense of handgun laws, this may not make much difference today, but if someone were to change the rules, making it possible for anyone to own a handgun without any type of registration of that weapon, would that make a difference to us?  Probably - because now there would be no "regulation" over the weapons sold.  The rules somehow make a difference - even when we are not fully aware of them, don't they? Even when these rules are God's rules, we don't need to know them fully to understand they still apply to us!

I enjoy following your rules as much as others enjoy great riches. (Psalm 119:14 MSG)

Simply put, a rule is something which is in place to govern our actions - it is to be the observed practice in the lives of those under that rule.  Here in my area, the speed limit on the freeways is predominantly 65 miles per hour. There are a few stretches more toward the inner sector of the city which are 55 miles per hour, but for the most part they remain at 65.  Now, how many folks actually slow down when they hit those slower sectors?  Not many!  It is as though the "rule" is a suggestion, not a requirement - UNTIL you see the speed trap with the radar gun ahead!  Then watch the brake lights come on! What is the difference?  As long as no one enforces the rules, we don't think they really matter to us!  Do you know why speed limits are set the way they are?  It is usually because of the flow of traffic in and out of the lanes of that busy part of the freeway - slowing down traffic makes it easier for merging traffic to enter the freeway, but also it makes it safer!

So, we have ascertained that rules are to govern our actions, keep us safe, and may not immediately appear to affect us on the surface, but if not observed, can place both us and those around us in danger.  Perhaps this will give us a different outlook on the rules God establishes for our lives and records for us in scripture.  Maybe we don't know all the reasoning behind those rules, but we can be sure they are there for the reasons we have stated above!  We don't need to know the reason behind each and every "rule", but we should embrace them all with equal enthusiasm because they are both for our protection and our well-being.

Protection is one thing - well-being is another.  Protection is the preservation from harm or injury.  Well-being is what we might call our "state of affairs". As long as we can say our "well-being" is good, we are describing a state of life in which there is perhaps health, good fortune, prosperity, or what some might call "fairing well".  God's "rules" or "commands" are there for both! There is nothing onerous about his "rules" when we begin to think of them this way.  They are there to protect us from harm or injury - this is indeed a desirable state, is it not?  They are there to bring us into places of "fairing well", no matter what the challenges are we might face.  This is indeed a much better state than we could produce on our own, isn't it?

No wonder our psalmist says he follows God's rules like some others might pursue the riches of this world!  He has come to realize there is much more value in living according to the standards God lays out for his life than there is in pursuing the things which don't last.  If we embrace ALL the rules, even those we don't know or think apply to us at this moment, we will indeed "fair well" in this life.  Just sayin!F