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Follow the Directions

November 19th, 2012

Follow the Directions

Lord, help me to make of the timber of my life a temple, not a tavern.

“Make everything according to the pattern I have shown you.”

Exodus 25:40 NLT

Everyone has purchased some item, in spite of a label saying plainly, “Some assembly required.” The drill is like this: you look at the picture of the item, open the box, pour out the pieces, get a few basic tools, and begin by laying aside the manufacturer’s instructions, until and unless needed and that for emergency use only, which is never anticipated. Construction begins and seems to go well for awhile, but eventually things do not go as planned. Too late, you admit the inevitable truth, “I should have read the directions.”

Life has a way that works best. Life does not work the way you want or think it should; life works best the way God designed life to work. When you follow God’s design – “the Manufacturer’s instructions” – life works as He promised it would. Life is so important and eternal life is even so much more consequential that God would not leave you without His assistance and guidance. If God is not intimately involved, the life you build is not going to be what you expected.

When He commissioned Moses to build the Tabernacle, God gave extensive and explicit instructions of the elements of design, dimensions, furnishings, materials, even the proper attire of those who would serve there, and the men with skill to build it. See Exodus 25-31. God was clear; no revisions were required. “Make sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you.” Exodus 25:40 NLT.

Moses’ understanding and willing adherence to God’s instruction was so primarily important that it is again mentioned in the New Testament, “Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the Tabernacle. For [God] said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’” Hebrews 8:5 NKJV. Moses took God seriously and did as God said. Read Exodus 39:42-43 NIV. Moses was careful to follow God’s directions specifically; you cannot afford to be casual about things of which God is careful. I have a life-long memory of a Bible professor’s prayer, “Lord, help me to make of the timber of my life a temple, not a tavern.” That is my earnest cry from a sincere heart.

If you live the way God says, you will have the results that God promises. You cannot live as you please and then expect God to bless your misdirected efforts, however well intended. Jesus modeled the only pattern for a successful life, “I do always the things that please [the Father].” John 8:29 NKJV. In its basic simplicity, here is God’s pattern for your life, “Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV. Or as the New Living Translation paraphrases the verse, “. . if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

Paul’s testimony was, “That in me first Jesus Christ might show . . a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, invisible, immortal, to God who is alone wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen!” 1 Timothy 1:16-17 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you follow the directions of God’s Word at all times

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