‘Afterwards all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the LORD had given him on Mount Sinai.’ (v32) Exodus 34:27–32

We read God’s Word to grow in our understanding of both who God is and who we are in His sight and purpose. We must never forget that we are in this world to serve that purpose.

Paul tells Timothy that his first responsibility is to live by the rules God has given. These are clearly set out in Scripture. These rules are presented in two forms. There is a list of ‘dos and don’ts’, such as the Ten Commandments.

Although given to Moses, they still apply to us today as we serve God. Then there’s the more challenging issue of defeating those temptations (or, as the Early Church named them, ‘our appetites’) that seek to divert us from God’s business and focus on our own interests.

Without mastering our natural appetites, we shall never live comfortably by God’s rules. Indeed there’s vast literature stretching across the centuries describing the Christian disciple’s struggle with what Scripture calls ‘the flesh’, from the Latin caro, meaning carnal. It’s the squeeze each of us encounters.

The decisions we take demonstrate the degree to which we live for God in practice. This in turn influences the likelihood of any fresh outpouring of God’s grace.

Of course, if we are again to see God move in revival, we must acknowledge the many flaws that undermine our confidence in Him and eat away at a robust Christian faith. Our next task is to consider how God invites us to do this.

Related Scripture to Consider: Gen. 4:6–12; Deut. 28:1–24; 2 Tim. 1–7; Heb. 12:1–13.

An Action to Take: All of us feel defensive and ashamed of those temptations that rule our thoughts and behaviour. Yet, God knows them all and we must choose if we will exercise the discipline to overcome them. We may need some professional support.

A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, I pray that, by Your grace, I may actively engage in defeating those things that draw me away from You. Amen.’

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.