Pants are important. Nearly everyone wears them. But what would happen if one day you encountered someone at your office who wasn’t wearing any. No slacks or jeans or shorts. Not a skirt even. Nothing.
And when you ask why they’re running around with no pants on, they tell you that they just don’t think wearing pants at work is a good idea. Now, pants at home are good. Pants at church are fine. But pants at work? Not so much.
You’d probably think they were nuts, right? I would.
That’s a silly illustration, but if you think about it, it’s not much sillier than how we behave when we compartmentalize our lives as Christ-followers.
Today’s verses are Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy is a book of repetition. God says a lot of the same things over and over again, and it’s a good thing to. I mean we get tired of reading them over and over again, but the more you hear them, the less likely you are to forget them.
I didn’t used to understand this passage. What did it mean to wear God’s commands on your hands and on your foreheads? I mean, I understand the Jewish tradition, but what does it mean for a Christ-follower?
I mean, if you want to write God’s commands on your hands and on your foreheads, that’s fine. It won’t hurt anything. But practically speaking, how do you apply this passage to your life?
It’s actually really simple. Not easy. But it’s simple.
It means to be fully committed to God in every single thing you do every day. When you go to work, you should be focused on what God has for you. When you are at home, you should be doing what God has told you to do. When you go to church, to the voting booth, to school, on vacation, to the grocery store–whatever you do, wherever you go, if you are a Christ-follower, you should be doing what God has told you to do. You should be keeping His commandments.
Compartmentalizing life is an essential skill in many ways. You have to be able to leave work at work. You have to be able to segment your life in ways that allow you to organize it.
But God should never be compartmentalized. Don’t ever try to put God in a box. He doesn’t fit.
If you try to follow God in part of your life and then live the rest of your life however you want it, you aren’t going to have peace. Having a relationship with God was never intended to be part-time. You shouldn’t just keep God housed in your church or just in your home. God should be an integral part of every decision you make, from the big decisions about where to live and what to do with your life to the small decisions about what classes to take or whether or not to go see a movie on Friday night.
Just like there’s no question too big for Him, there’s no question too small either. Don’t cut God out of a part of your life because you think He doesn’t care. That’s not the case. Don’t ignore Him in a part of your life because you’d rather do it your own way. Believe me, it won’t work out.
It’s a strange habit to get into, asking God about what decision to make or comparing the choices you’re making to what the Bible says, but it works. We just have to take God at His word.
So bring down the walls that are keeping God out of the corners of your life. Open the shutters on the dark spots and let God’s light shine through you completely. It won’t be comfortable. He’ll definitely illuminate some things that need to change, but He’ll also give you the strength to do what you need to do.