What We Have is Better
“My son, keep your father's command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake, they will speak with you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life….” (Proverb 6:20-23)
There are only two kinds of motivation to do well and live correctly.
One is to live with an EXTERNAL motivation to do well and the other is an INTERNAL source of direction.
Prior to the Law coming….there was no real direction unless God…from the OUTSIDE intervened in a person’s life.
Then the Law came. Those who cared about God’s law would often tie them around their necks….OUTSIDE them as part of their effort to draw the Law INSIDE themselves so that the precepts of the Law would be (as verse 21 says) being bound “continuously upon their hearts.”
The writer of Proverbs tells us the benefits of this: “they will lead (guide) you”, “they will keep us (hedge us about)” while we are asleep and unaware, “they will speak to us (ponder things along with us).”
The Law was, then, on the outside of us watching over us and interacting with us – outside to in.
Not only that but…. “the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life….” (Proverb 6:23)
The Law….on the OUTSIDE and to the degree that people memorized it…would be beneficial to them.
In Christ (i.e. for Christians ONLY) we have something infinitely better.
The WRITER of the Law lives INSIDE US!
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, IF (SINCE) INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And IF (SINCE) CHRIST IS IN YOU, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But IF (SINCE) THE SPIRIT OF HIM who raised Jesus from the dead DWELLS IN YOU, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit WHO DWELLS IN YOU.” (Romans 8:9-11)
Think about that: the Writer of the Law that can be so beneficial to us LIVES INSIDE US and we have access to the Law INSIDE us all the time….if only we will listen to Him INSIDE us.
We no longer JUST have access to God’s commandments just on the OUTSIDE of us and we are no longer limited to our puny human abilities to memorize it and recall it when we need it.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and BRING TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
The Spirit will remind us.
Now, lest some will say I am suggesting we not try to read and memorize the Bible or listen as others teach us from the OUTSIDE to inside us, I want to stress that I am not saying that at all.
There is immense value to reading and memorizing what the Writer Who lives inside us wrote and left for us to read outside ourselves. He responds to Himself. He bears witness to Himself (Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:6).
We benefit from these things and others OUTSIDE us can benefit as well.
The Writer of the Law is not just living inside us. He’s INSCRIBING His commandments and precepts ON OUR HEARTS and making us into something wonderful: love letters from God to the world!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us DIFFUSES THE FRAGRANCE of His knowledge in every place. For WE ARE to God THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15)
Have you ever considered that when we allow the Lord to lead and guide us from the INSIDE of us that we (spiritually) “smell like Jesus”?
It gets even more delightful:
“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
What do you call an epistle…or LETTER….that smells beautiful?
That’s right! We Christians who live following the Spirit within us are a perfumed love letter from God to the world and we smell like Jesus to them.
Let’s resolve to obey the Spirit of God Who lives inside us, reading His Word, learning it, memorizing it to the best of our abilities.
It will benefit us AND it will benefit those who God arranges to cross our paths and walk along them with us…even if but for a little while.
What we have as Christians is better.
Let's worship God by drawing on Who we have INSIDE our spirits.
Pastor Mike McInerney
Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.
© December 6, 2017
(For use with permission)