Monday, September 10, 2012

Walking Pharisees

We are walking Pharisees.

It is our natural tendency.  We make up the rules as we go, tricking our minds into thinking we are living lives of truth simply because we obey the rules. 

As long as they are our rules.

I remember someone telling me once that I could put soap on my Pampered Chef Stone cooking sheet if I only left it on there for a few seconds at most. 

The Pampered Chef lady said to not use soap.  But, in this person's mind, she had justified using soap to wash her Stoneware.  So, she made up a time limit of how long the soap could be on there in order to justify her actions.

She made up her own rules because she didn't like the way the real rules read.

The Pharisees took simple God-given rules and changed them into rules that would make them look better to the public and to themselves.  They gave specific regulations for how to live life.  They refused to associate with sinners.  When the law said not to work on the Sabbath, they defined what was or wasn't work.  Their lives became full of empty ritual as they did their best to follow the law perfectly.

The Pharisees' spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting were on display for all to see.  Didn't they know that God looks at the heart?

They had one singular problem.  They sought to stand in their own righteousness instead of the righteousness of God.

I wonder, when we start making up our own rules, are we just striving to stand in our own righteousness instead of being secure in what Jesus has provided and done for us?

I caught myself just yesterday making up a rule and justifying my actions.

I wondered where this tendency has its roots.  God whispered that it began with Eve.

When Satan was tempting her in the garden, Eve tells him that they must not eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor must they touch it, or they will die.

God never mentioned that they should not touch the fruit.

From the beginning, we have been making up our own rules.

Will you ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas where you have made up your own rules?

Be free in Christ.

Stand on His righteousness alone.


Vanessa said...

So true! Thanks Becke'

Anonymous said...

I'm askiing God to show me that very thing. I'm certain it happens more than I realize. I bought that Bible a couple of years ago and sad to say I haven't read it yet.Thanks for the reminder.