Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 30 – Gaining an advantage over the enemy

O how I love your law!  All day long I meditate on it. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for I am always aware of them.  I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your rules.  I am more discerning than those older than I, for I observe your precepts.  (Psalm 119:97-100 NET)

This comes from the longest chapter in the Bible This psalm of 176 verses dwells on the theme of God’s laws, principles and commandments.  We don’t like the thought of laws constraining us.  We’ve been jaded by man-made rules and regulations oppressing us, especially when it’s all just senseless bureaucracy.  But God’s laws are completely different.  They bring freedom, wisdom and so much insight that we gain an advantage over our enemies, and an ability to teach even our own teachers. And this wisdom comes from loving God’s laws as intensely as the author of this psalm did. 

When Jesus was twelve years old, His mother and father found Him discussing the law of God with the Jewish leaders in the temple, and those wise scholars were in awe of what He said.  When He grew into a man and began His ministry, the Bible says that people marveled at His authority because He didn’t speak in the old predictable ways of the Pharisees.  He knew God intimately and could prove it with the miracles that He did.  Later as all the disciples became baptized in the Holy Spirit, the same awe came over multitudes of people as they heard these simple fishermen and tradesmen preach boldly and perform miracles.  It was obvious that they had been with Jesus, and had His Spirit in them. 

When you love the things of God, you love obeying His commands and principles.  Everything you do is based on what He has taught in His Word, not just in the empty traditions of a church institution or the opinions of others.  If you love His Word, you are hungry to read it, hear it, learn from it and meditate on it.  The moment you have the chance to practice some aspect of it, you do, because it is the strongest thing that sustains you.  This makes you wise and able to outwit the devil and all of his attacks.  He is immeasurably crafty and subtle and is a master of disguise.  But your love of God’s laws will give you that edge to see through all of Satan’s deceptions.  

The spirit of the Pharisees is everywhere today, so don’t be surprised when the wisdom God gives you angers them.  God will lead you just as He did His disciples.  First get rid of the old ideas that God’s ways slow you down or that they interfere with your success.  God’s laws are sweeter than honey, and the more you eat of them, think of them and practice them, the stronger you will become, and the sweeter your life can be.

Just imagine what your life would have been like if you had lived in that kind of communion with God from the time you were a teenager until now.  Obeying God’s laws and enjoying His presence would have kept you far from a lot of grief and foolish mistakes.  Make a fresh start now, because God’s wisdom can even make up for lost time. 

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