Luke 10:27 says, “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
On the previous podcast, we had a conversation about legalism. The subject can be tricky and even divisive, so today, I want to focus on God’s heart for us. His heart is that we love one another. He desires us to be dependent on Him, not on another person or ideology. This is why Jesus reminds us to love Him with our whole being. When we love Him this way, we have the freedom and discernment we need to follow Him where He wants to lead us.
When Jesus leads us, there is no room for pride, either, because we know we’re dependent on God’s leading.
One of the most troubling things about legalism is that it keeps us from growing to be totally dependent on God. If we raise our children this way, eventually they too become bound by rules. It’s true: legalistic parents tend to raise legalistic children.
Jesus saw legalism in the Pharisees. The Pharisees were known for their rules, but never for their discernment. Here’s the thing: When we depend on a checklist of rules to determine our decision making process, there is no room for discernment. The Pharisees’ mindset would be “Give me the law. I want the rules so that I don’t step out of bounds.”
Christian parents have a critical role to play in teaching their children how to be biblically discerning. This means we must train ourselves to work through issues using Scripture for ourselves. Scripture should drive our decision making process. This is why it is so important to teach our children to make decisions for themselves within the security of our home. It is in our homes that we teach our kids how to truly know God for themselves.
Following rules reveals something else: it reveals a lack of faith in God’s leading in the lives of others. It says, “My confidence is in this parenting program or that man’s teachings” rather than in Christ alone. Busy moms, where is your confidence? If it’s doing things a certain way so your kids will grow up to serve God, you have to surrender.
It is so easy to give our daylight hours to a strict schedule and live our life by a list of rules–after all, that’s safe, right? But God has a much better way. His way requires a daily surrendering (there’s that word again) of our will to His. His way bears fruit. It’s not burdensome and it’s not bound by legalism.
I’m going to close with this today: consider what Paul said to the people of Philippi as he affirmed that if God began something, He would finish it. The word “confident” is a strong word. It means “fully persuaded,” or “completely convinced” about something. Are you completely convinced that God will finish what He began in your life? Where is your confidence?
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Paul chose the right thing to be confident in. To completion! Don’t you just love that? It just makes me want to sing for joy because some days, I feel like I’m not going to make it to grade 3, let alone grade 12 with my kids! This verse reminds me that I don’t need to depend on the formulas or rules of men, because I can be confident in God’s desire to see the work He has started in me and my husband through to completion.
After all, it’s His work, His power, and His presence in our everyday lives that becomes our true source of confidence and strength as we follow Him together. He can be trusted.
Thank God for grace,