Do you like being told what to do? I acknowledge often times I do not. And yet over and over again, the teaching of the Bible tells us what to do. In fact, in the Bible there is command after command (and, yes, a part of me does not like being commanded).
I am learning to tell myself (instead of being told by others!) that God gives commands/direction/guidance for our good. I am learning that following the commands of God is what “wins” in the long run—even though in my selfishness I struggle at times with this.
So, in that spirit, I invite you to slowly ponder and pray over, one by one, the commands found in just a single chapter in the Bible. If you were to genuinely obey them, how would that enable you to “win” as you align your life with the will of God? (Remember, do this slowly, opening yourself up to what the Lord wants to say to you.)
Romans 12:1: So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.
Romans 12:2: Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
Romans 12:3b: Do not think you are better than you are. You must decide what you really are by the amount of faith God has given you.
Romans 12:7-8: Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.
Romans 12:9: Your love must be real. Hate what is evil, and hold on to what is good.
Romans 12:10 Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves.
Romans 12:11 Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times.
Romans 12:13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.
Romans 12:14 Wish good for those who harm you; wish them well and do not curse them.
Romans 12:15 Be happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad.
Romans 12:16a: Live in peace with each other. Do not be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant.
Romans 12:17: If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right.
Romans 12:18 Do your best to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:21 Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.
So, what did you discover about God from prayerfully pondering these commands? What did you learn about yourself?