No Strings Attached


Today’s Devotion: Leviticus 8

Simon says, “Hop on one foot.” Simon says, “Touch your toes.” – Close your eyes! (Gotcha!)

Do you remember the game? It gets me every time. When I first came into a relationship with Christ at age 32, this is what I felt like my relationship with God looked like. Gods says, “Do not lie.” God says, “Do not steal.” God says, “Honor your Mother and Father.” God says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” – Read your bible every day! (Oops!) The worst part – as a sinner – I blew them all.

Rule bound; as if the human race is a bunch of puppets on a string. I couldn’t understand free will because I didn’t feel like I had any. I had this new found comprehension of what a horrible, sin-filled, undeserving human that I was/am and was clinging to the rules to protect me.

In Leviticus, God gave them very specific instructions and they had to obey every word. Why? They weren’t covered by the blood of Jesus. During Aaron’s ordination, they were not be worthy of being called a Priest until they were fully consecrated. Consecration isn’t a promise to go out as a missionary or to do something else for the Lord. Consecration means to come to the Lord with empty hands and ask, “Lord, what will You have me to do?” He does the filling! That is consecration.

As we now know, the rules won’t get us into heaven. It takes something much more intangible… belief and faith. I shared with my 9th graders in Sunday School on Sunday, the longest distance to heaven is the twelve inches between your head and your heart. The head represents rules. Rules that we learn, follow, practice and sweat over. Your heart is about belief, humility, confession, forgiveness (of yourself and others) and faith that God literally sent His one and only son and belief in Him so we can have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

The day I figured this out, I was a tear-filled blubbering mess. My whole life I lived under the rules and rituals of religion, but finally understood what it mean to be a Christian; a true believer. In turn, we receive a writ of passage into heaven. Aaron was appointed by God to be the one who could approach God and be given the ability to bless the Iraelities and present offerings to God.

I’m so glad that we can go directly to God and have a relationship with him with no strings attached. No priests, intercessors, animal sacrifices, rules, turbans, robes, and alters. What freedom we are given through Christ and because of this we live our lives in obedience, not because of the rules that He gave us to follow, but because of our hearts desire to honor Him with our lives for the sacrifice He made for us.

Today’s Devotion: Exodus 23

Sign Collection

We’re on the 3rd day of rules and I’m beginning to pick up how proactive God is.

When I get into my car, I am like a statistician behind the wheel. I think of the different routes that will take me to my destination. I calculate the most logical way to get there with the most right turns (to minimize stopping or crossing traffic) and I evaluate how to get to my destination with the least disruptions i.e. stoplights, stop signs, construction, railroad tracks, etc. You can argue that this is a whole lot of energy spent on something meaningless. Or it is?

I’m efficient, faster, safer, fully aware of my actions, and in control of my choices BEFORE I have to make them. Why? For one, it doesn’t hurt anybody and it’s one of those simple mind games that I play.

Chapter 23 is God giving more rules, but as I read this chapter today, I realized how he is preparing Moses and the Israelites for a variety of causes and effects. He’s says, “Don’t” and “Do”, but He also says, “If!” IF assumes that it could happen and He wants us to know the right way to act, behave, react, or manage should the situation occur.

I love that we serve a God who prepares us for what could happen and lets us know in advance; not only the possibility that it could happen, but if how we handle it in the best way.

Here’s the kicker…. Do we listen? Do we do what he says to do, prepare in advance for the worse case scenario or do we go on with our lives taking shortcuts, avoiding ‘construction’ areas, or minimizing stops? Maybe God’s message to us today is to get on the road and drive metaphorically speaking. He has all that ‘stuff’ covered. It’s there for a reason and whatever is to come, He gives us His Word, which He has it all figured out in advance.

But we need to know what His Word says so thank you for taking this journey through the bible with me.