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Living abundantly

Romans 14:22-23 – Who makes the rules?

 

Here is the revelation that is shaping my life today- God himself shapes my life.

Romans 14:22-23 NLT

[22] Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. [23] But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

 

Observation

Why is it that we love to make rules and sit in judgment? Is it the power and control it gives us? The church, at times, has an obsession to legislate the shape of life with God. They want to say, “this is right and this is wrong.” Then they can say who is in and who is out. But then they must enforce their rules with punishment, so who’s in and out becomes then enforced. There is something about being in that then makes me feel safe, I feel superior when I am in and I know you are out. But God did not come so I could make rules for my safety and sit in judgment. We hate that in Jesus God abolished religion and closed the book on rules. It’s now everyone is in based on His love for them and there are no rules outside those shaped personally and intimately with each believer, so there is no place for judgment.

 

The decision of right and wrong is now based on my intimate relationship with God and His personal direction. It’s my convictions formed with Him that guide me. And sin is shaped by my convictions, not yours. “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” There is no judgment of who’s in and who’s out, who is right and who is wrong, based on following the rules set by the hierarchy. It’s now individual attending to what my God says to me.

 

And I am not to stand in judgment over other believers. If one believer says “I’m okay with doing ‘this’ before God,” then I am not to judge the “this.” And I am even called to sacrifice my own freedom to support that believer “this.”Romans 14:14-15 “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. [15] And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.”

 

No rules, only a life crafted in love and lived out in love, is the shaping principle that God gives us. As soon as we, the church, stop being lawmakers and law enforcers we may focus our attention on releasing contemplative lifestyles that are lived shaped from instruction in contemplation intimacy and experience with God, and not instruction in laws made by me.

 


Application

God help me get out of the seat of judgment and never return. Help me to trust that you are at work in the lives of everyone, shaping and directing their convictions to the life you are bringing them. Help me to take up my responsibility to point people to you to shape their lifestyle and not to me. I repent of making rules and enforcing them. I will be personally responsible for the life I live shaped by your intimate tuition.

 


Response

Thank you that life is all about love, not rules. Thank you that you lead me personally and you do not point me to the pages of the law in which to find life. Thank you for freedom from the judgment of others and the mercy and grace of your directing. I am blessed to know personally the author of life and to be personally led by Him.

 


Meditation

 

Meditation truth – what God has shown me is right for me, is right for me.

Consider:

Is your life regulated from the presence and intimacy of God or from rules enforced by people?

Do you have a contemplative rhythm with God that gives him space and position to shape your walking?

 


JOURNEY DEEPER
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