I have a love of racing. Fast cars have always been something that has just been a part of who I am. I was even on a stock car pit crew at one time. I grew up involved in RPMs and horsepower. I love it! I have found, at times, that I can struggle with the speed limit. Keeping my eye on the speedometer and obeying the signs can be difficult – especially if I am running late or in a hurry. I had someone tell me once that those signs were merely suggestions.
Well, that isn’t what the authorities think. If you have ever gotten a speeding ticket, you know just how uncomfortable that can be. Fear rises as the officer pulls you over and holds you accountable for breaking the law. All the excuses in the world will normally not prevent you from having to pay the fine for ignoring the signs. You sit there waiting for the ticket to be written up, feeling embarrassed and wishing you would have actually obeyed the limits. We know that the officers are helping to keep us and others safe by stopping speeders. But that doesn’t take away the negative feelings of being held accountable by the authorities. And yet, when it is all over, we know that the officer was right and 9 times out of 10 we thank him for stopping us.
God’s commandments are similar. They are there to keep us safe. They are trustworthy. They protect all of us from doing things we will regret. Following God’s commandments can be as hard as trying to do 25 mph in a fast car. It takes determination. It takes obedience. It takes commitment to live a life that is holy and pleasing to God. It is not impossible. It is being faithful.
When you live a life within the boundaries of what God calls us to, you live a life with integrity. Do not worship any other gods. Do not worship idols. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. Remember the Sabbath. Honor your father and mother. Don’t murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness or covet what your neighbor has. God has put commandments in place to help us live a life where we will grow on his firm foundation. Personally, I would rather obey the commandments and live with integrity and let God keep me safe. This allows me to grow in a positive way in this world. Keeping God’s commandments is not a mere suggestion to me…. they are the only way I can live my life. I may not be perfect, but I can sure try to live with integrity.
Questions for reflection:
- Have you ever broken a commandment and how did that make you feel inside?
- Have you ever feared the Lord? In what ways?
- Have you ever stood solid with God’s commands and felt really good after making a good decision to obey instead of going astray?
Old Testament reading: Daniel 7-8