By Jennifer Mann
As I’m presently not having to undergo the epic twice daily commute into London, I often find myself imagining that I can now become proficient in areas that ‘time’, or the lack thereof, had previously made challenging.
One such area is baking. Not entirely mindful that baking is an exact science and spurred on by the family’s groans of delight as they feasted on my freshly baked offerings, I felt after a few weeks that I could take on more ambitious recipes. As I proudly delivered my latest offering to the table, my heart sank as I saw the look of confusion on their faces. I could tell they were trying to reconcile what they knew the end product to be, with the reality of the melded mound before them. During the cooking process, I was low on one ingredient. It turns out that 130 grams of plain flour will not do when the recipe calls for 150, especially when I tried to make up the difference with self-raising flour!
We all had a good laugh about my botched attempt but in reflecting later, it brought to mind the importance of following the recipe for life that God has given us, called the Bible. God’s word gives us very clear instruction on how we should live and when we deviate (like I found out with my baking) we end up in a mess!
God‘s recipe for a good life comes in the form of the 10 Commandments, which are an expression of His love and will.
They provide us with clear direction on the principals we should adopt on how we conduct ourselves in life and relationships. It is no surprise therefore, that as society has strayed farther and farther away from these principles, that we have seen an increasing decline in societal standards.
If we take a brief look at God’s first commandment, in the Old Testament book of Exodus 20:3 God says: “You shall have no other Gods before me”. Now let’s read that in conjunction with the New Testament book of John chapter 14:6, where Jesus, the son of God says: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”.
Many people have tried to deviate from this recipe in an attempt to find God by substituting Him with things like good deeds to others, charitable contributions and other religions, thinking that it will lead them to God but just like my recipe called for me to be exact, God requires us to be exact in the route to finding Him. As Jesus said “no one comes to the Father except through me”
In finding God, we cannot lead a life where we put other things before Him. Anything that serves to come between us and God is the “other Gods” being referenced in the commandment. This can be our career or our possessions, education, friends, pursuing a life partner, or even revering our life partner! If these things become our sole ambition, we are deviating from God’s recipe.
As we go through this week, I challenge you to think about all the areas of your life that have become “other Gods” and are causing you to deviate from God’s plan, then pray that they are replaced with the one ingredient that will make the recipe complete. Jesus!
“Jesus, you have said that you are the way, the truth and the life”. Please reveal to me every day what that means and help my understanding. I pray that you will remove any distractions from my life that are preventing me from knowing you and fill my mind and my heart with a desire to live in your will. I ask that you hear this humble and simple prayer for your namesake. Amen.
Our song for the week comes from Patrick Dopson and is entitled “Keep Me”