Reconciling the Law with Obedient Discipline – Week of August 24th 2010

Reconciling the Law with Obedient Discipline

A dear friend brought to mind this week the daunting task of reconciling the law, while living under grace, with our need for obedient discipline to our Master.  What a tightrope walk that can be at times for the all of us from the babe in Christ to the most mature saint.  Yet, one nevertheless which has to be taken on if we are to fully live, as Christ desires us to and steer clear of turbulence.  As my friend expressed, so many people just do not get this concept.  It has taken me a very long time not only to get this concept, but even longer to start allowing it to be a very real aspect of my life.

The law can be harmful if we approach it as a master and not a tool to show us our own inability.  The law was meant to lead us to our need of Christ not make us feel condemned.  Once we realize we cannot live up to the law and that we need Christ, the law’s purpose for our lives has been fulfilled.  Once we have met Christ at the foot of the cross the law dies but grace gives birth to a responsibility to be obedient to Christ.

It is this responsibility to be obedient to Christ, our Lord, Master and Savior that people confuse with living a law driven life.  They wrestle with themselves in knowing whether they are: (a) truly driven by love for Jesus and therefore, have an overwhelming desire to be obedient and to do all that He would have them do or (b) being what one might consider legalist.  This struggle can result in much misunderstanding on the part of others, when they are viewing your lifestyle from afar, or much stumbling and backsliding, if you do not have confidence in what is driving your disciplined lifestyle.

Each person must personally go before the Lord to determine his or her dos and don’ts in life.  God has a different plan for each person and though some acts are clearly sin for all, others acts would be considered personal sins based on God’s specific plan for that person. Since to go against anything God wants personally for an individual is considered sin.  Therefore, keep in mind what one can do another cannot do, necessarily.  If they do…they may not be a grace abuser and if they do not do…they may not be attempting to live under the law. Without grace, there will be no desire and without discipline, there will be no results.

The law or a legalistic attitude will stir up the desire for sin.  Nevertheless, a person must still follow God’s instructions for cleaning up, and clean out, their lives; otherwise, their faith and spirituality will never affect their or other’s lives a great deal.  The old nature must die and give way to the new nature.  Our focus should be on what God wants for our lives and what God wants us to be.  When Jesus is sought, He will show an individual what alterations need to be made to their lives so that they might bring Him more glory.  On this, He will never leave us without an answer.

God spoke something about this to me just a few days ago.  “You give into your habits not your desires. The things you want on the surface are your habits. The things you want deep within are your desires.”

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