As men multiplied upon the earth, the devil had more room and more hearts to incubate his sinister goals. But God desires to have men focused on Him, ready to establish His counsel upon the earth.
This is why He gave the ten commandments, a guide to help us lead our lives on His terms and void of interference from the world. The commandments are God's open requests to those called by His name and identify with His sovereignty.
How the Commandments Apply in Today's World
From the commandments, you can clearly understand God's original intent for His people – to imbibe (absorb or assimilate) a pattern of living that resonates with His nature. That God gave the commandments unto us is also an indication of how He wants us to mirror His nature against the gross darkness in the world by following every ordinance He commands.
And yes, since the commandments tell us God's curriculum for acceptable living, you can still find it substantiated in today's world.
I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
If God would do anything with you, your heart must first be given to Him alone. And if you must find Him, you must seek Him with ALL your heart. He longs to have sole ownership of your life's focus, even against the tide of corruption in the world.
But how can you, as a child of God, live in the world without polluting your focus when you are daily surrounded by the world's corruption?
You do so by fixing your gaze on Jesus. You make God the top priority in your life by looking onto the Author and the Finisher of your faith and keeping your heart occupied with His thoughts and His words all day long.
God requested sole sovereignty by commanding that nothing should be placed side by side as Him, nor worshiped and accorded attention as He. If you claim that God is first in your life, you must also love the things He loves.
• So, do you find yourself working round the clock to please your manager at work, but you grumble when the preacher's sermon exceeds 20 minutes?
• Are you so focused on spending on your physical appearance that you forget to be a blessing to the needy among you?
These are the strange god's Abba warned us about in the very first commandment.
He wants you to lead an excellent, fulfilling life on earth. But at the same time, He wants to be the sole focus of your existence.
Rightly put, He wants to jealously be the center of your life. Surely, He deserves more than the center of your life. He is worthy of having ALL your life! Do not hold back.
You shall not make to thyself any graven thing; nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. You shall not adore them nor serve them.
First, this commandment helps us see that God would not have us imagine Him as an image but as an eternal Spirit. Hence, it would be sinful to create any image, physically or imaginatively, to represent Him.
Now, you may not precisely have a sculptured image or a carved piece of wood to which you pay obeisance. But do you have that belonging, person, or job that you seemingly anchor your life upon?
Is there someone in your life who has deliberately or inadvertently occupied a place in your heart only God should have?
Well, we could call that person or those things idols because you're according adoration and service that is due to God to them.
Today, God wants you to put away your idols, whether physical, emotional, or mental, so you can unreservedly give Him the worship He deserves. He wants you to be able to let go of those thoughts and activities that set themselves up against the authority of Jesus in your life!
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
It is profanity to call upon God's name for nothing or use it with unholy, vulgar words. God is holy, and so is His name. You must be able to reverence His name whenever you have to call on Him. Your hands must be pure, and your hearts bowed to Him in surrender whenever you call on Him.
But beyond literally calling the name of God in vain, it is even more irreverent to be identified with the name of God and still lead a life of hypocrisy as a Christian. When you confess to the Lord as your God but do not depart from iniquity and sinful living, you take the name of God in vain.
Jesus explains in Matt 15:7-9 that people call on God in vain worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from God.
So, when you sing and worship God in church, but your attitude at home and your workplace only give glory to your flesh, you're taking the name of God in vain. When your actions fall short of the glory you confess of God, you're guilty of taking the name of God in vain.
As a Christian, you must strive, by the help of God, to ensure that your life mirrors the God you proclaim. This is necessary because when the people in the world hear you call upon God and your actions depict something contrary to who God is, you give them a wrong definition of God. You make them marry your flaws with the perfect nature of God.
Now, this is not to say that you should go on and pretend to be a perfect, flawless being. You need to allow God to work on your weaknesses, but let men also see the right nature of God through you.
To be continued.......