Deuteronomy 8:1 – All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers. (RSV)
One Sunday morning, as I entered our church's bookstore, a decorative sign, a wall hanging, caught my eye. The sign contained seven very simple, yet very powerful and meaningful words. And, unfortunately, they were seven words that ring true for so many people today, Christians and non-Christians alike: "The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice."
We struggle each day with being fully obedient to God. Intentionally or not, we choose each day to obey certain commandments, and to disobey others. Children choose not to obey their parents. A husband chooses to commit adultery. Christians place their job or family before God as they run late in the morning, and decide to skip their quiet time with God. Getting to a vacation destination becomes more important than attending church on a Sunday morning, and the holiness of the Sabbath day is forgotten. Or the neighbour gets a new sport-utility vehicle that we would just love to have, and we begin to covet.
It is so easy to make God's commandments into multiple choice, that we often don't even realize we are doing it. But just as the Israelites would not receive the full blessing of God's promised land without complete obedience, we also cannot receive the full measure of blessing that God has for us, if we do not commit ourselves to a fully obedient lifestyle. While none of us can ever be perfect or live a sinless life, we should still strive for that supreme level of obedience. If we stumble every now and again, we need to receive His forgiveness, and set our eyes back upon the Lord. The Lord will never lead us astray.
If we devote our lives to God, to the study of His word, and to fellowship with His people, we can so engrain ourselves with God that obedience becomes natural for us. But devotion and time are the keys. It takes a sacrifice of our time, our desires, and our wants, to bring us to a level of obedience that is pleasing to God.
Prayer: Most kind and gracious heavenly Father, we desire to be obedient to You and to Your will. We ask You, dear Lord, to give us the strength and the faith that we need this day to be obedient to You in all that we do. We thank You, God, for the blessings that You have promised to us if we are obedient to You. Amen.