Who Decides What is Right?
The following night the Lord stood by him (Paul) and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.’ When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy.Acts 23:11-13
Today’s headline news: More Than Forty Men Starve to Death Over Unfulfilled Oath. This story would certainly make for some interesting reading in our present news cycle. This event, however, occurred some two thousand years ago. It is a story that involved religious zealots so bent on stopping the work of the God they claimed to worship that they were willing to die if necessary to succeed.
These men were strict disciples of the law that God gave to Moses. The adherence to the law became a religion. Since it was their religion, any teaching different from their own was rejected. Paul, who they determined to kill, was at one time one of them. But Paul was confronted with the truth in a life-changing experience. In that experience, Paul yielded his will to God and was miraculously transformed. Instead of teaching the law, Paul taught that God’s way is not the deeds of good works but the change that God does in the individual’s heart.
There is a tendency for all of us to follow our heart in what we think is right. We may feel that our way is correct. Those men that made that oath, thought they were in the right, even though they were breaking the very law they claimed to follow. This is what happens when we follow our heart. We can make changes to adjust to circumstances. What was once accepted truth can be rejected later. What we believe becomes a matter of convenience.
What is true and right is only found in God who never changes. If we understand God’s written Word given to us and correctly follow His instructions, we can have assurance for correct living. When we submit our will to God through His Son Jesus, we receive a new heart and His Spirit to guide us. Instead of following our own way, a religion, or someone else’s teaching, we can follow God’s way through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
This week, let’s spend more time in God’s Word learning what is right. If your heart has been transformed by God, allow His Spirit to direct your decisions. A new heart, a transformed life, and eternity in heaven are given to everyone who receives Jesus by faith. This then places us on the right path for life.