Every time I read through the Bible I find new and usable insights. Isaiah is telling the Israelites to get their act together because their lives are not what God expects. In the middle of Chapter 33, I came across six solid, Biblical ways to have a life that God will bless. (BTW, I don’t try to read through in a year. I like to do it at my own pace, without the pressure and stress of specific assignments.)
1 – Live right. Simply said make the right choices. Know God’s voice and really listen. As Proverbs 3:5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.
2 – Speak the truth. The concept of truth is in so many verses but my favorite is in the 10 Commandments. Exodus 20:16 says no false witness. In other words, don’t lie.
3 – Despise exploitation. How about some synonyms here; misuse, abuse, unfair treatment, oppression. Take a stand on these issues. This world is full of people who mistreat others. Don’t let yourself get caught up in thinking your way is the only way. Only God’s way is the only way!
4 – Refuse bribes. If you ______ , then I _________. Bribes are not always about monetary gain. Actually, in the simplest way to explain, a bribe tries to get a person what they want by whatever means they can.
5 – Reject violence. This one is so simple, but so hard to accomplish in this world. Can you walk away from television, computers, movies, books, magazines, newspapers? Can you walk away, not read, not listen. It will be hard, but if you want to raise your personal standard of life then you may have to take a serious, personal inventory of what you are reading, seeing, and hearing. Then make the hard choice to reject violence.
6 – Avoid evil amusements. Entertainment, pleasure, interest. Essentially we are to avoid those activities that cause us to sin or fall into sin. There are several lists of these types of activities. Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-6, or Revelation 22:12-15. Then do what you have to.
Your standard of living and my standard of living are two different things. I think we can agree that if we add these six to that standard we can be ‘safe and stable’, ‘nourished and satisfied.”
Oh, LORD, I live in this world. I know what You want. Help me to take a stand. Help me to model what is right. Plant your Word in my heart, nourish me with it, guide me to a healthy, satisfying, moral life. Make it so in Jesus’ name.
Blessings to you and yours!