by Kristin Fuhs, Set Me Free Ministries Communications Director
I care for three children under the age of 4-years old every day. It is a joy to care for these kids and watch them grow and develop. Rules are an important part of our day from the time they arrive at 7:15 am, until I send them out the door at 6:00 pm. Rules provide expectations that help our day to be as stress free as possible and create a positive, orderly environment. The rules help the kids’ behavior to be loving and kind throughout the day, and of course, the rules keep the kids safe and in a routine that helps me not to lose my mind!
The truth of the matter is no one really likes rules. Rules restrict our behavior, limit our free will, and sometimes create work for us if we are the rule enforcer. I want, however, to give you a different way to think of rules.
Rules have been given to us from God for our protection, not to us to keep us from having fun. Rules from our Heavenly Father are given to us so we can have His best for our lives.
I love the illustration that thinks of rules like fences in a zoo. They are there to keep the animals safe in a place where they have what they need. The fences in a zoo provide order, ensure safety and allow the animals to be cared for in the best way possible. If the fences are removed or broken down, chaos occurs. Imagine a zoo where the fences or barriers were suddenly knocked down; not a place I would want to visit or to be! Rules for us are like those zoo fences. They keep us safe and on track to have the fewest bumps in life as possible.
Ephesians 5:15–20 challenges us with some guidelines (or shall we say rules?).
What not to do:
- Immorality – lust, thoughts or actions
- Inappropriate talking
- Spiritual deeds of darkness – things you do in secret
What to do:
- Imitate Jesus
- Find our what pleases God
- Make the most of our time (list of days activities reveals your priorities)
- Rely on the Holy Spirit and follow His leading
- Worship through songs and music
These are pretty straightforward lists. I challenge you to place them somewhere that you see them on a daily basis and use them to make sure your life lines up with the lists and the Word of God. I think you will be surprised at what you let go of in your life and what you add if you sincerely try to follow these lists. Please try not to be overwhelmed with the rules, however. The secret is to spend time with God and the list falls into place. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we become like Him. Take time to spend time with the Savior. So I guess the number one rule for all of us needs to be: Spend time with Jesus.
My list is on my fridge and on my car’s rear view mirror. Where will yours be?
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-20, NKJV)