Aber and I sat at the table and dipped the addicting chips in delicious hot sauce. Aber asked if we could meet. He was spiritually hungry, eager to learn more about God. After our usual chitchat he shared about a vivacious gal at work on his team. She had recently moved to Oregon from Massachusetts. He noted her athleticism and that the two of them were working out three times a week during lunch. He was losing weight and felt great. Not surprisingly, the chips I’d been munching lost their flavor.
“Aber you’re married. Do you think it is wise for you to be working out with this woman?” His answer was evasive. Red flags began flapping. I shared Proverbs 16:17—“The highway of the upright avoids evil; the one who guards his way protects his life.” We looked at Job 31:1—“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (NIV). But Aber laughed at my concern. He was mildly offended at the implication that any evil might be involved. He said I was overreacting—after all they were just friends and he loved his wife and wouldn’t do anything stupid.
Eight weeks later Aber would not look me in the eyes. He’d decided to separate from his wife. He rented an apartment and in order to afford the cost talked his workout partner into moving in with him. He swept over every move with a tightly twined broom of rationalism. His finishing touch was how excited he was at the opportunity to share about Christ with his new live-in. It was as if sharing God would somehow appease deliberate disobedience.
Deuteronomy 4:2--You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you.
Moses taught his people that following God meant obeying the commands He made for their own betterment (see Deu. 28). Jesus said, “On the contrary, I am going awayso that the world may know that I love the Father. Just as the Father commanded Me, so I do . . .” (John 14:31). Do we understand through what the Bible teaches that in following God’s commands there is no room for deviation? The moment we create our own path aren’t we in effect saying we know better than God does? The instant we rationalize aberrant behavior we cease to follow wholeheartedly our Father and we cut ourselves off from His blessing.
We either do what God asks or we stray. Follow is not a wishy-washy word. Nor is it hard to find out what God wants. He has supplemented His commands by equipping us with a built-in conscience. Isn’t selective compliance really a euphemistic form for rebellion? The Infantry says, “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.” God says follow my lead and hell won’t be in your way!
The one striking thing about following is we must not find our own way, for when we take the initiative we cease to follow.—Oswald Chambers in The Ministry of the Unnoticed
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)