by Pastor Tim Burt
God-given instruction and guidelines are something that helps us spiritually grow up in our thinking and maturity. God gives them to us from a heart of love. God wants to protect us from getting into what we shouldn't and from things what will hurt us and steal our blessings. This is what Jeremiah is relaying to God's people in Jeremiah 31:21 NIV. He says, "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Let your heart be guided down the highway, the road that you take. Return, O Virgin Israel, return to where you know you should be." Jeremiah is instructing them to have reminders of God's ways in their heart.
In the Old Testament God gave the Ten Commandments to be guideposts for His people through life. Do you remember what they are? We see them in Exodus 20:1-17 (NLT) Then God instructed the people as follows:
 "I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
 "Do not worship any other gods besides me.
 "Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish.  You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.  But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.
 "Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work,  but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
 "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.
 "Do not murder.
 "Do not commit adultery.
 "Do not steal.
 "Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
 "Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."
These guideposts were to help keep God’s children from trouble by keeping us aware of what to avoid. When adults don't have them instinctively built into their thinking and behavior, then they behave carnally like children, still needing a guardian to remind them of what to do and not to do to keep from trouble.
As we spiritually mature, God wants us to take a higher approach than just do’s and don'ts. He wants us to take the higher way of love by not thinking, What do I need to know to keep out of trouble? but instead thinking, What can I do to honor God, be a blessing, walk in integrity, and be an example of God’s love? The position of love does not want to hurt or violate God’s ways or people. God's love wants to bless, to lead, and protect.
In the New Testament, we have a new and better covenant from God. His instructions are simpler, yet more profound and important. We are to love the
Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our
strength and with all our mind and love our neighbor as ourself. James 2:8 NIV puts it like this, "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right." The royal law of love is a higher way than do’s and don'ts.
If you know your life is full of carnal living that violates the do’s and don’ts, that is where your maturity level is at. You need to get on God's path or it will produce its consequences in your life. If you are living for the Lord and you've left carnal living behind, focus instead on the royal law of love—that is to “LOVE your neighbor as yourself.” If you do, you are on the highway of life the Lord has for you! You have His heart and you are caring and watching out for others motivated by His love. Because of it, you will see supernatural signs of God’s presence and touch everywhere in your life. Your desire to live in this place gives you the spiritual eyesight to see God’s touch and presence on your life, even when there are troubles surrounding you.
God's grace and strength working in you will help you mature past the do’s and don’ts of carnal living, to the path of living a life motivated by your love for God and for others. It's God's supernatural highway of love! There is no place like it in God in all the earth!
Proverbs 12:28 (NLT) "The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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