A person that hears the word of God but does not put it into practise is like a foolish builder who builds his house on sandy ground. When the storms come that house is washed away. But those that put the word into action are like a wise builder who constructs their house on a solid rock. That foundation withstands the storm. (Matthew 7:27-27). The aim of today’s teachings is to empower and equip you with the knowledge that you need to better understand God. Putting it into practise will give you the foundation and knowledge of what is expected of you.
Previously ( 10.01.21 Vol 2) we looked at the importance of understanding God and His expectations of us. We explored how despite God demonstrating His might through His protection and provision towards the Israelites, they still disobeyed Him. We discovered how despite having clear instruction and guidance through the commandments these people still appeared to not understand their God. God still fulfilled His promises with the expectation that His people would be faithful and loyal to Him. The same expectations are still relevant even today. God still requires obedience. As such, there are certain things that we need to avoid doing as Christians that can lead us to violate His instruction. God is calling on us to have a reciprocal relationship with Him. Today we will explore what is required as an individual to serve God.
First and foremost, understand that God is not only relevant in times of need. Deuteronomy 5: 6 -7 urges us to pledge our loyalty to God alone. We often relegate God to merely being a crisis resolver and neglect to pay attention, show interest or even spend time to learn more about Him. We negate the fact that God has been with us throughout our lives, even during those moments that we have not sought Him. We have transfered our trust from God to man. For example, we honour prophets as beings that hear from God, yet fail to understand they are mere vessels used by the Supreme God. The same God that must be reverred. It is God that has given us breath and life to live, so it is He that deserves our priority. That is the simplicity of worship. Joshua 24 sums up this fundamental principle. In order to truly serve God, you must make an intentional declaration to do so. When we understand these simple principles we can live a life of true loyalty.
Using the Israelites as an example, we know that they were disloyal to God even though He had done so much for them. Joshua had to tell them to do away with the idols that they had kept amongst themselves because it undermined their loyalty. Loyalty means “genuinely having the best interest at heart ensuring that a relationship is reciprocal”. Meaning in context that you need to have an interest in God. You need to play your part for your worship to be reciprocal and lastly, you need to do away with any distractions and prioritise God. Deuteronomy 6:4 emphasises the need to love the Lord “with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind”. That is true loyalty to God. God is a jealous God and does not want rivalry. If we take romantic relationships as an example, lack of loyalty equals a failed relationship. A loyal believer requires not any continuous prompting to serve their God, but are intuitive to His will.
We are the temple of God. Jesus is the owner of your life and He wants to dwell in you. Remember, Jesus said in John 15:4 “remain united to me , and I will remain united in you” meaning our relationship with Jesus is a partnership. Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:23 states that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial for you. This piece of advice is useful when trying to understand how your body can act as temple of God. For example, an athlete is careful with what they eat because they know that particular foods will help in their preparation for their competition. As such, they will actively try to avoid certain food because they are aware that it will not help their performance but might in fact hinder them. This is similar to the way that you must see your body as a temple. Actively avoid all that alters your behaviour contrary to what is expected of you. Never assume that you can do whatever you please, then expect automatic forgiveness. We have been given the capacity to decide wrong from right and the ability to discern what is beneficial to our spirit.
Exodus 19:5 explains the condition required to be “God’s Chosen”. When we see the battles the Israelites encountered and how they defeated nations equally created by God, it shows that their victories were testament to the favour of being God’s prize possession. You see, as long as we don’t know how to carry ourselves, or how we should behave, we cannot be God’s chosen. There is a specific reason He has created us. We are called to a life of worship not merely calling upon His name in times of emergencies.
In the parable of the sower, (Matthew 13 : 1- 23) we see how different people receive God’s word. The seed was the same but the ground that received it was the variable. It was the type of soil that was the issue, not the seed itself. The seed that fell on good ground spouted and produced an abundance of crops. Yet the other seeds did not grow for they did not fall on the good soil. This means that the seed has potential to grow, but the environment of where the seed falls determines whether it will be able to or not. We need to be good soil so that the word can succeed and produce abundance within us. Just remember that the same word that blesses and protects some, can also be the same word that condemns others depending on how it is received. With your body you go where you shouldn’t. With the same body you engage in what is wrong. With your mouth you speak what you shouldn’t. How then can that body be the Lords temple? Ultimately, you should become someone that has an awareness of themselves and has the understanding that our personal conduct can cause God to either dwell within or reject you.
We may chose to chase the world, that’s fine, however, the conclusion of the matter is living in accordance to the will of God in true servantship. That is the whole duty of a man. Be intentional to invest in only what is beneficial to your worship.