I was counseling a friend once who had just become a Christian. This guy had no Christian background whatsoever, so everything was completely new to him. He wanted to know what God has to say about his sexual relationships. “What am I allowed to do?” was his question. Basically, he was asking how far he was allowed to go with his girlfriend before he crossed the line of sin.
You should have seen the look of shock on his face when I told him it was “hands off”. We went through a bunch of scripture together, which helped him understand what God desires from him.
You know what? This guy was absolutely genuine. Once he knew that behavior was sinful and destructive, and that it displeased God, he cut it off. He broke up with his girlfriend to remove the temptation. I have to admit I was impressed with his decision.
His actions demonstrated that his motives were pure in asking the question. Some people ask such questions with the wrong attitude. The question isn’t , “What pleases God?” The real question they’re asking is, “What can I get away with?” How far can I go before God is angry? Kind of like how my kids figure out just how much sass they can give their parents before they cross the line and face punishment.
Are we the kind of people who are genuine in seeking to walk in holiness, or looking to find out how much we can get away with before we get into trouble? The sincere person is one who has made up his mind ahead of time that whatever God says, they will do.
“Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.”
The psalmist was prepared in advance to commit to obedience to God. He wanted knowledge and understanding of the Lord’s decrees so that he could honor Him. He was prepared to be a doer and not just a hearer of the word.
If you examine your own heart, are there areas in your life where you are more concerned with pushing the boundaries of what you can get away with than you are with genuinely walking in holiness?
When you seek the Lord in prayer or the Word, have you made up your mind ahead of time that you are willing to align your life with whatever He says?