Anyway, the plot centered upon a takeover at the White House. My kids were annoyed because it seemed like it took so long for the government to intervene and help out. The big-wigs were trying to decide if they should swear in the vice president, if the army should take over the white house, if they should send in helicopters, if the vice president will make the right decisions for the country…I am sure you can see where this was going. Anyway, the law was tying the hands of the government, and even worse political agendas were being stepped on. Decision making was stifled.
I explained to my kids that it is frustrating when the law enforces agendas that really were never meant to stifle action. It made me go back to the book of Romans. Romans is a tough read. It has a lot of legaleeze in it.
Romans 7:10-13 (from the Chronological Bible NLT Version) So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy and its commands are holy and right and good. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good cause my death (spiritual death)? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
Oh man. That scripture is so rich in truth. Sin uses what is good to trick us. It uses the law and manipulates it.
This has happened so often in my everyday life. There are rules for a reason. We have rules for our household, for the kids’ schools, for outdoor activities, for games, for computer use, for manners, and for so many countless things in life. These rules are boundaries – they are meant to help order be created in place of chaos. They are not meant to stifle. When they begin to stifle God’s plan, then we need to take a look at the law again. Ultimately stifling will create chaos – which is what the rules were made to eliminate. Crazy!
Going back to the bible, Paul specifically ministered to the uncircumcised, the Gentiles. God uses people’s assets in miraculous ways. Paul, himself, was a Jew who was converted on the road to Damascus. Through his many writings, we can see that Paul converted many Gentiles into Christianity. Paul did his best to include the Gentiles, who had been previously excluded because of their desire to stay uncircumcised which in the Jewish culture was wrong. The Jews did not care for Paul buddying up with the Gentiles. After all, the Gentiles did not follow the law. The law said you must be circumcised. How on earth could these people become Christians if they weren’t following the law?
Romans 2:25-26 The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But it you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?
Paul clearly states here what the Jews do not want to hear – circumcision does not determine your worthiness to God. The Jews were so caught up in pointing out the mistakes of the Gentiles using the law, that they couldn’t see their own sinfulness. We all are sinners. When we use the law to restrict people from receiving Christ, we are really far off base with God’s Will. Paul reveals the truth and that is: God is available to everyone; we just have to give him our heart.
Laws are so difficult. We have all personally witnessed how the law can stifle progression. The Government Shutdown would be a huge example of this. How do we get back on track when we have abused the law? One answer to that is prayer. Pray for God’s guidance. Let God guide your heart when you are making decisions. Be aware when your rules are crushing God’s will.
We are all leaders with manmade rules. Every one of us at some point in our life have created rules for something. We need to be aware when those rules start to cause chaos instead of progress. We need to pray, pray and pray some more. Paul puts is beautifully when he sums up what the law is for: “The law simply shows us how sinful we really are.” So use the law with caution. Set boundaries according to God’s commands, but be watchful because you are not the ultimate judge: God is.