October 22

It was mentioned to me on Sunday that Enoch is a great theme for a devotional. I agree. We are not told much about him, but we must acknowledge that a man who was that focused on God, on walking with Him, following Him, and serving Him must have brought Him immense glory.

This reminds me of Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards

When one reads these I’m guessing he would think, “What a rigid, overzealous fanatic Jonathan Edwards must have been! Surely Jesus would understand that we are humans and have human needs. Surely He wouldn’t require us to be so concerned with holy living at the expense of sacrificing the pleasures of earth. All Jesus really wants from us is a relationship, not strict rules as if we’re robots!”

While that is my first inclination, I quickly realize how short I must come to glorifying God by my undisciplined, careless life.

  • If the Muslims can devote themselves to “excessive” practices (such as praying 5 times a day to Mecca, not eating pork, and following Sharia law), then why can’t I devote my life more seriously and attentively to the only real God in the universe?
  • If the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses can be on fire to spread their false doctrine through their missionary work, and to study and know their false scriptures, why can’t I be more on fire for the real God and His Truth found in the Bible?
  • If the Hindu can be devoted to Yoga worship, long periods of meditation, and seeking to earn eternal bliss, how much more should I be devoted to the real God Who purchased my salvation on the cross and desires my continual praise and worship?
  • Why is it too much to be under the rules and regulations of the New Testament Scriptures and to actually require holiness, sobriety, seriousness, and agape love of our Christian lives?

Oh how weak we’ve become! We’ve accepted the false lie that Christianity is a relationship when in fact it’s a position (in Christ), full of obedience and submission (to Christ), denying our own “rights” and lives, and seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The relationship is the resulting blessing of being a redeemed slave to Christ. He then no longer calls us slaves, but brothers and sisters.

I admit, I hate discipline (which is maybe why I decided to beat it out of myself by joining the Marines many moons ago). I hate rules (I am as rebellious as the next person). I hate rigidity and strictness. And then I read how Jonathan Edwards willingly chose to create this list and live by it. It baffles me to no end. Why? Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you choose to live a life that restricts your “freedom”?

And yet I know the answer. Edwards wanted to be as holy and Christlike as possible, to please Him above all else. He loved and honored Christ so much so that he was willing to sacrifice his own rights and freedoms to glorify Him. You see, God doesn’t want a relationship on our terms. Heck! Everything about our lives is to be on His terms and His terms alone, from salvation to how we live each day. We’re not given an option. We’re not told we can have it our way as if biblical Christianity is a choice on the Burger King menu. We’re only given the option to obey Him on His terms by His rules.

Whatever characteristics were found in Enoch’s life, they must’ve been pretty extreme by our standards. He loved, pleased, obeyed, and walked so close to God that God just took Him home. What a testimony to us!

  1. Evaluate your weakest areas; those areas deep down inside that you hold onto so tightly and refuse to give to God. What are they? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Christians are often called “fanatics” because we actually have rules to follow, many which separate us from the world. But, what’s disconcerting is that many who claim to be Christians mock the strictness of other Christians who submit to biblical living and restrictions.
    1. Consider the difference between biblical rules (e.g. don’t get drunk) vs. church traditions rules (e.g. don’t drink any alcohol whatsoever). Write down some that you have witnessed: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. We are to obey the Bible, not traditions. Traditions will often impose unnecessary rules and beliefs on us (I grew up being told that we weren’t to run or yell in the “house of God”, a concept that is wholly unbiblical since the building is not the house of God, but we, the body of believers, constitute His temple).
    3. We may create stricter rules to ensure we obey the Bible, but must never impose them on others, or teach that these rules are equal to the Bible (this is what the Pharisees did).
    4. It is right to develop stricter rules to prevent personal failures. If you have a problem with alcoholism, it might be best to not go to a bar and hang out, even if they have every sports team up on the screens and the best pool tables in town.
  3. Reflecting back on the first point, look at each of those areas that you wrote down that are not under subjection, that you refuse or have a hard time turning over to God. Confess each of these to Him now and ask for His help in letting go. Ask Him to show you areas in your life that need to be disciplined, corrected, improved, etc. We each need to look at our lives and find out what is not bringing Him glory, and to eradicate those things.
  4. Remind yourself today that the relationship aspect of our walk with God must be on His terms and for His glory above all else. Let Enoch’s walk serve as a daily reminder.