Obey, Listen, and Cling

Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)

Moses is sharing the commandments God had given him to give to the people - instructions that came to be known in religious circles as the Law of Moses. As he instructs them about those who would attempt to lure them away from a deep, meaningful relationship with God, he points out three basic groups: the false prophets, those within your circle of influence (better known as the family), and those who lived in neighboring communities. Do you know what he said to do when they were encountered by those 'influences' attempting to pull them away? The Israelites were told to kill them. In other words, they were to rid themselves of all those influences and sere only the Lord their God.

How do we live in a world with so many 'influences' pulling us away from an intimate relationship with God and remain strong within that relationship? For one thing, we don't entertain the fool! We stop listening to their arguments, taunts, and prompting. We turn a deaf ear to their folly, but we also must cleanse our minds from the subtle compromises that enter into our thoughts and roll around in there for a while. This is why I think God's plan for his people was to 'rehearse' scripture: "And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

We get God's Word inside our brains, allowing it to filter through all those outside influences that worm their way into our way of thinking. It sorts out the junk, making it easier to not get carried away in the wrong direction. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can 'confirm' the truth, and 'deny' anything that veers from absolute truth. That brings me to the question about the 'grey areas' in scripture where we don't always see a specific indication from God if a particular behavior or action is 'okay' for believers. I suggest that God gave us his Word as an outline for our safety - we can assume he knew we would encounter the 'grey areas' on occasion. He also gave us our conscience and the Holy Spirit to help us when we don't absolutely see something defined in scripture.

The conscience works in conjunction with what we learn from scripture and the influence of the confirmation of the action by the Holy Spirit who resides always within us. Get the Word in and then let it begin to guide your conscience under the tutelage of the Spirit. You won't find there is room for compromise when all three are guiding your actions. External opposing influences are easier to turn away from (be rid of) when we use the tools we are given! The key to resisting those influences is to obey his commands, listen to his voice alone, and cling to him with all that is within you. Just sayin!

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