The more we get into this life here on earth, the more we realize it gets very complex very quickly. As little kids, the most complex things we had to worry about were whether we'd watch one cartoon over another, play with this toy over another, or choose to play indoors or outside. The choices we had to make were very complex at the time, but then we grew up! Now we have to figure out how to fix the broken sprinkler valve, where the best deals are on the groceries we need this week, how well we can stretch that paycheck with prices going up on everything, and who we can really count on to be there when we need help. Yes, life gets pretty complex as we grow older, but trust me on this one - we lend to the complexity of things when we forget to put God in the center of it all!
You are right and you do right, God; your decisions are right on target. You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to you. My rivals nearly did me in, they persistently ignored your commandments. Your promise has been tested through and through, and I, your servant, love it dearly. I’m too young to be important, but I don’t forget what you tell me. Your righteousness is eternally right, your revelation is the only truth. Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight. The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest. (Psalm 119:143)
I believe God is right and he always does right. I may not understand why hurricanes happen, or why there is this pandemic right now, but I do trust that God is always right and he does right in my life. I also know there are forces at work in this world that aren't all that interested in how well I survive, or what evil intent they can unleash. Those are the forces that stand in opposition to God - they have been here since the beginning of time and if I understand scripture correctly, they will be here until God banished them to the pits of hell! Life is indeed complex - we need someone to help us navigate the complexities of life, don't we?
The truth of the matter is that we all receive a lot of 'coaching' to make 'good' or 'right' choices, but we don't always listen to the one who is trying to help us navigate this very complex world. We are being 'told' how to live, but do we always choose the correct way to live? If you are anything like me, then the answer to that one is a solid 'nope'. God doesn't change his mind - he gives us direction and it is always right. What we choose to do with his direction is a different matter entirely. We don't always listen to what we are being told. Mom and Dad tried to warn me against certain things such as not telling lies, not stealing things that weren't mine, and even how to hold a nail so you didn't smash your finger.
Did I always do as I was told? There were indeed untruths told and things taken that bought me some time in the 'extra chores and no TV for a week' kind of mess, and I have had a few very sore thumbs to prove I don't always do as I am told! Maybe I don't want to admit it, but I am a little bit on the stubborn side - I take short-cuts, avoid things that I don't like to do, and even ignore good advice on occasion. What I will admit is that God isn't content to leave me in my 'non-listening' mode for very long. He keeps 'telling me' there are things I need to do, or other things I need to stop doing. He is just waiting for me to finally 'hear' him and obey him.
The way you tell me to live is always right - but truth be told about all of us - we need his help to understand his ways of living so we can live our lives to the fullest. We fall short of what God prepares for us simply because we don't listen with the intention of doing. When we finally realize that we need to 'pair' listening and doing, making the determination to listen to one voice and one voice only, we move into this realm of obedience. Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be rewarding? You betcha! Is it sometimes going to rub us the wrong way? At first, but then we begin to see the reasonableness of God's plans and purpose the more we get into what he asks us to do. So, listen with intention. You might just be surprised what you realize when you do! Just sayin!
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