A lot of young people struggle with the constraints of churches and religious rules. We want to be free; to do whatever we want. We like the concept of grace, but resist against any type of rules or boundaries. Part of that is just growing up and spreading our wings, but another part of it is deeper, more dangerous.
We like to think that all the religious rules were left in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, Jesus still echoes the same lesson: if you love Me, keep my Commandments (John 14:15). Yes, there are less rules in the New Testament, but they’re still there even with Jesus becoming the ultimate sacrifice.
But why all the rules? It’s surely not for God’s benefit – He is a holy, almighty, perfect God. The commandments in the Bible are for our benefit. They are there to protect us from the temptations of this world and from the snares of the Enemy.
It’s like parenting. Parents set bedtimes so that kids get enough sleep to stay healthy and grow. Or they feed children vegetables and tell them not to talk to strangers. The kid may prefer to eat candy and pull all-nighters, but at least for the first 18 years, while the kid is under the parent’s control, Mom and Dad know what is best.
This passage in Deuteronomy tells us just that: God’s commandments are there so that we may live and that it may be well with us while we are on this Earth. His rules are not meant to be a burden or a punishment.
“Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” -Deuteronomy 5:32
Focus on God, friend. Don’t get distracted by what’s going on to your right or to the left. It doesn’t matter what your friends are doing or what the world promises if you just compromise on God’s rules a little bit.
What prevents you from fully obeying God’s commandments?