Faith and Careful Instructions

Life is a balance. I constantly look for the plumb-line of truth and the balance between not being anxious, but also being careful. Wary caution marks one definition of ‘careful’. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament encourage us to be ‘careful’.

As the children of Israel were approaching the Promised Land, Moses clearly warned them: But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them onto your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 If we are going to navigate this world with wary caution, we need to remember what God has done for us as well. Do you remember the joy of your first salvation? Maybe the freedom you felt and the closeness to the Lord? Do you remember how He has answered your prayers? Perhaps how He kept you safe during crisis times? As we remember His faithfulness, it will help us be careful to keep His commandments and walk in obedience. Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 4:28

Being careful does not mean we hole up, scared and fearful. His word tells us: Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Joshua 1:7. It is through careful obedience that gives us the confidence that He is with us. As we listen to His voice, obeying those instructions, we will be assured of great success.

1 Corinthians 10:12 warns us about us! If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptations to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. We must be careful about not walking in any of the works of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Galations 5:19-21 We don’t like to think about these things, but if we do not walk with wary caution, we can fall into any of these sinful desires.

We also must be careful how we live our lives, because we influence others. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weak conscious to stumble. I Corinthians 8:9 I am strong in my own conviction about not drinking alcoholic beverages. The Holy Spirit told me I liked it too much, and for my own good to choose not to drink. This was back in 1972. I have kept those instructions because I trust His wisdom more than mine. Others have to come to their own conviction in the matter. Alcoholism runs in our family’s history, so rather than take that liberty, we’ve chosen to abstain. I pray it is one example we can give our grandchildren.

We also must be careful how we live our lives, because we influence others. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weak conscious to stumble. I Corinthians 8:9 I am strong in my own conviction about not drinking alcoholic beverages. The Holy Spirit told me I liked it too much, and for my own good to choose not to drink. This was back in 1972. I have kept those instructions because I trust His wisdom more than mine. Others have to come to their own conviction in the matter. Alcoholism runs in our family’s history, so rather than take that liberty, we’ve chosen to abstain. I pray it is one example we can be to our grandchildren.

I Corinthians 10: 12 If you are think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptations to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. This is a promise to us a way out of temptation. But unless we use wary caution, may fall into the works of the flesh. The New Living Translation describes them as sinful desires. Galations 5: 19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Whew, that is a lot. Some are easy for me to avoid (like drunkenness) others are more subtle like jealousy, anger or quarreling. No matter which one is your weak spot, we need to walk carefully around these pitfalls.

Hebrews 2:1 instructs us: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Drifting is very subtle. It is not a deliberate action, but just a subtle slipping away from the truth you once held dear. Our culture is working to re-write history and re-interpret scriptures that were long held true. Please do not let go of the truth. Cling carefully to it.

Hebrews 3:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. Let us remember the price He paid for our salvation. Let us choose to walk with Him so we can know Him and bring Him all the glory He deserves through our lives.

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