God has not given us the “Garanimals” of commandments, also known as His mix-n-match commandments for His children…namely us!
Read into Mark 7:5-23
I honestly believe we have all done this, at some point in time. Justified our actions by discarding the commands of God! I can admit it, how about you??? Now, I do not mean any disrespect to the children’s wear brand name “Garanimals,” but with respect to the point I am trying to make, it seems to be the best descriptive term. “Thou shalt not do this excepting only a day with a “y” in it!” No, the commandments that were passed on to us through the centuries were not written in such a way! The commands given us were not to be mixed and matched to specific days of the week, months of the year, or seasons of the year…they were meant to be understood and followed (adhered to) as written! Jesus made them even simpler, but yet we still attempt to match them to times of the day, months, seasons of the year, or some other morally challenged ideology.
And just because Jesus loved everyone, and He dined with them, He did not participate in nor condoned their sins. He accepted them where they were in life. But if they truly believe He was the Son of the Living God, they would have changed their actions and how they acted within the context of their lives to be the sons and daughters of the Living and Most High God that claimed them as His own heirs!!
The sad thing is, people are always trying to rebrand and repackage our Creator into a neat little box that suits our carnal desires. Making Him much smaller than He truly is. Many of the commands which Jesus challenged the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes were those which they bent to their own benefit. They had no problem seeking to know why the followers of Jesus did not adhere to specific aspects of the law, all the while they were bending the laws to benefit themselves. A bit of hypocrisy to say the very least!
Jesus reminded us that the act of ceremonial cleaning of one’s self is meaningless and does not clean the person; instead, it is what you set free from your heart and out of your mouth is what truly makes you “unclean” in God’s eyes! Fill your mind with godly thoughts, show only godly sights to your eyes, and fill your heart with the goodness of God…then, you truly are clean! God had intended us to follow His commands, and they were truly simple in the beginning. But since we could not follow directions and accomplish what was expected of us, we were sent packing out of the Garden of Eden. You know the old observation: “You had one job and you couldn’t even do that right!” That was how it was with mankind…all we had to do was follow what we were told to do!
Jesus put things in their place and told everyone how it was:
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”~Mark 7:20-23 NIV
Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, the Son of the One True God, the Christ, told us what was wrong with mankind and exactly what made him an unclean person! We were even told by God that “…even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” (Genesis 8:21 NIV) But we lost hope and faith in our Creator and we turned our head to the side and paid no attention to Him. Even to this very day mankind has done so. Every time a miracle doesn’t happen for us, each time a prayer is not answered to our liking, we tend to lose faith and hope in our Lord. But the fact is that just because you didn’t receive a miracle or your prayer’s answer it does not mean you were suppose to receive that item, or request. It is quite possible that you were actually getting a “no” vote from God. The problem is, we easily lose heart; but it takes a strong heart to hold faith with God’s will, both good and bad.
We must keep in our hearts and minds that evil is part of our nature and that we must fight against it every step of the way! We were reminded by the Apostle Paul:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~1Corinthians 10:13 NIV
We are easily tempted, this is because our nature is evil and our hearts are so easily swayed by our carnal desires. We even had some aid from Able while he spoke to his brother, Cain:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” ~Genesis 4:7 NIV
We are told, here, that sin is crouching at our door and that it desires to have us; which essentially is telling us that sin is living and breathing and due to our evil & carnal natures that sin is here to tempt us and fully take over our hearts and minds. Is this not what Satan desires from us? The great deceiver, himself! But we MUST rule over our own desires and minds…we must be in control. How do we gain this control? From God, himself. God will provide a way out so that we can endure it (it, meaning the temptation and the desire of our heart, etc.)
God desires us to win, but we must be able to and desire to follow His will and commands! So, are you willing?? Are you willing to yield your life back to God? Following His way??
Hear the word!
Believe the word!
Repent your Sins!
Confess/Accept Jesus as Lord!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD