“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”- Hebrews 10:22
Over the last month there has been an uproar in our town over new rules and regulations. And I am not talking about wearing masks, physical distancing, or vaccinations. The great outcry has to do with new trash services. A new company has been contracted to collect garbage for the City of Thousand Oaks. In addition to a new pickup schedule and bins, there is a new set of rules as to what is supposed to go in each container. With all that has transpired over the last two years, the last thing anyone wants to do is use brain power to determine where uneaten food goes and if a recycling item is cleaned properly.
All the grumbling that has taken place over something as inconsequential as our garbage, speaks to a growing tendency of people not liking rules and/or to being told what to do. The rules that are meant to keep safety and order are often met with objection, cynicism, and outright rebellion. Before one delivers a counter argument that the rules don’t make sense, aren’t backed by data, are overstepping their lines, or not being followed by those who place them, consider the fact that we even complain about and compromise the rules from God. In Ezekiel 18:25 the Lord addresses this issue, “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is My way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?”
In the Bible God has provided so many commands and instructions, encompassing every area of life, from the spiritual, relational, physical, emotional, legal, social, and financial. He placed rules that were meant to produce a pure heart, provide safety for our bodies, benefit others, keep us from sin and destruction. 1 John 5:3 tells us, “In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.”
Heaven’s rules, when followed, keep the trash from piling up and stinking up our lives. It will require more attention and detail. It will mean a little more care and discipline. It will mean time to study God’s Word and seek His will. In the end, following our Lord’s commands will bring a cleansing to all the cares of the heart, the corruptions of this world, and the course we are too follow and find true life in!