The Ten Commandments – Part Two
Life is full of lists. We have lists to remind us what tasks need to be accomplished; we take a list of items we need to the grocery store; some people even have a bucket list of things they want to accomplish before they die. With our lists, we make an effort to transfer priorities into something that we can refer to in case we forget or get distracted. The Ten Commandments are God’s list of priorities for us, and the First one is the foundation upon which all of the others will stand. In order to build a good, strong structure of Faith, there are two questions we must ponder: Who is God? And, what is a false god?
No one calls on your Name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever.
(Isaiah 64:7-9 NIV)
God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it, including you and me. He is omnipotent (all-powerful). He is omniscient (all-knowing). He is omnipresent (everywhere all the time). God is righteous, Holy and He is merciful. He wants us not just to recognize these attributes of His being; He wants us appreciate, cherish and live our lives knowing these truths. His jealousy is not petty; it is sacred.
What about Jesus and the Holy Spirit? There are volumes of information available, researched and written by theologians, to explain the Trinity – God in three Persons. Because you didn’t sign up to read a million word article, and my little brain cannot convey all that I’ve read about the Trinity, I will abbreviate it. (You may breathe a huge sigh of relief here)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
(John 1:1-5 NIV)
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
(John 3:6 NIV)
There is no accurate description in any earthly language (past or present) of the Trinity. It is a mystery that we will only fully understand when we get to His Kingdom (see 1 Corinthians 13:11-12). As much as the Trinity is a mystery, it is also truth that we are to accept. God is the Being; Jesus is the Divine Expression (Incarnate manifestation) and the Holy Spirit is the Work, Direction and Comfort that provides Will. In His fullness God is everything.
Now, what is a false god? This one is easy! It is anything and everything that comes before God in our lives. It can be our job or education; it can be politics or entertainment; it can be family, a personal relationship or even religion; and, a false god can come in the form of an addiction to chemical substances or other behaviors that lead into the depths of sin. Because false gods can come in any form and at any time, it is important to learn to recognize them and stay away from them.
“I can’t go to church today; there is a football game on.” Entertainment has become your god. “I don’t have time to read the Bible today; I have a meeting at work.” Your job is your god. “My friend wants me to go to a party where they will be drinking and doing drugs. I said I don’t want to go and my friend made fun of me, so I guess I will go.” Your ignorant friend is a false god. Do you get the picture? God wants to be your number one priority in all aspects of your life. When you think of Him first, before you do anything, you will eventually come to a joyful reality – God in you.
How do you make the First Commandment a part of your everyday life? Simple; you pray!
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)
It takes practice and a lot of determination, but it is entirely possible to pray continually – yes, even when you are busy or talking with others. Prayer is an open line of communication with God, and when you make a continuous effort that line is always open. Note: You will fail. But, that open line of communication will give you the strength get back up. As time goes and your worship of God becomes stronger, those false gods don’t stand a chance.
What aspects of your life have the tendency to take your attention away from God? It may be time to reevaluate your priorities and make a new list.
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Until next time, God bless you with joy.