Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. – Proverbs 7:2
We need to constantly and consistently keep in the forefront of our minds that God is all about life. To Him, life is sacred, and full. God is about life. “He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2:7). ‘I came that you might have life. . .” (John 10:10).
The absolute opposite of life is death. There is no middle ground, except to maybe talk about what direction one person might be headed. We have all sinned, and the reward for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). Death not only to our purposes here on earth but also an eternal death.
Ingrained in our wanton nature is the thought that sinful behavior will satisfy our deepest desires, if only for a short time. The ads on TV, the internet, and just about every publication are targeted at that very nature. We are lured into believing that satisfying the fleshly desires will make us happy, bring fulfillment and meaning, and fill our lives with the ultimate pleasures. God uses Solomon to show us very clearly that this thought pattern only leads to destruction.
But part of our problem is realizing this. This is like when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, and yet were not immediately destroyed. God said they would die, but they were still alive. Even so, they were overtaken with extreme shame for having disobeyed. Something had died: their relationship with God. We fall into the same pattern when we transgress God’s command and because we are not immediately snuffed out, we think that just maybe we got away with it. Yet shame follows, as does our impulse to hide from God.
The abundant life Jesus spoke of is a life filled with purpose and satisfaction. A life lived knowing that you live to please and enjoy fellowship with your creator. Try as you might, there are no other paths leading to a life fulfilled other than to live in a way that is saturated by honoring and obeying God’s commands. They bring satisfaction, not shame. They bring fulfillment, not emptiness. They bring life, not death.
We must come to that place where we recognize that everything God commands us to do is because He loves us so much and wants us to live our lives without shame. We can do that if we keep His commands.
Father God, I am beginning to see more clearly how much you desire for me to live a life filled with peace. I have violated your commands in the past, and for that I am ashamed. Please forgive and cleanse me from wanting anything but following you with all my heart. I will seek to know and follow your commands from this moment on. In Jesus’ name, amen.
– Dan Woodworth