“You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules, and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. These verses are so key, as God says, “Look back to Egypt, look forward to Canaan, and realize I am not calling you to live like the Egyptians, and I’m not calling you to live like the Canaanites.
Both the Egyptians and the Canaanites worshiped all kinds of false gods. There was all kinds of idolatry and immortality that flowed from that, and God is careful to say to His people, “Do not live like them.” Do not live like the world around you lives. I’m calling you to be separate. You shall follow my rules, keep my statutes. Walk in them. I am the Lord your God. Worship Me, and live your life out of the overflow of worship for Me alone, and that means you will live very different from the world around you.
We are called to worship God alone. We must be aggressive to make sure we are not accommodating our lives to look like the rest of the world.
That reality in the Old Testament is absolutely the same for followers of Christ in the New Testament, in the New Covenant. We have been called, created, commanded not to live like the world around us. We must hear this Word, and 1 John makes it clear. Do not love the world. The picture we have of the New Testament is we are in the world, but not of the world, which means we live according to different rules, different statutes, different commands. We don’t run after the same idols that others in the world run after, idols of money, and sex, and power, and oh, the list goes on, and on, and on, and all of the immorality that flows from that. We do not do that. We live different. We’ve been called to worship God alone, to live according to His law, His Word, not to that which seems right to the world, that which is right according to God’s Word, so we must be careful, aggressive in our lives, and in our families, and in the church to make sure that we are not accommodating our lives to look like the rest of the world, to live like the rest of the world.
We have been called to be separate, to live very differently. Our priorities are very different. Our plans and dreams are very different. Our desires are very different. Our routines are very different. We have totally different priorities, desires, plans, dreams, routines than the rest of the world, and we’ve got to be careful not to lose that. Especially, even in some efforts to try to reach the world with the gospel, we almost convince ourselves that we have to live like everybody else in the world. It’s not true. We’ve been called to live different, and in the process to show that there is a better way, that God’s ways are better than the ways of this world. That’s part of His design in calling this people in the Old Testament, as well as the church in the New Testament to Himself, to say, “I wanna show what happens when people follow Me as God, and how good this is, and how right this is, and how just this is, how loving this is.” That’s what our lives should be, as a reflection of the world, so we pray.
God, help us. God, help us to see the world around us from Your perspective, according to Your Word. Help us to live according to Your rules and Your statutes. God, we pray that You would keep us from slowly drifting into worldliness, from subtly drifting into worldliness, into running after what we see everybody else in the world running after, for indulging, and what we see everybody else in the world indulging in. For pursuing the priorities that everyone else is pursuing. God, we pray that You would help us to live, in a very real sense, counter culturally, counter to the ways of Egypt, and Canaan, and the world around us. God, shape our values. Shape our plans, and our dreams, and our desires, and our priorities, and our agendas, and our routines, and our daily schedules. Shape all of these things according to Your Word, not the pattern of this world, we pray. Open our eyes to ways that we are just running along with the world after all the world is running after.
God, stop us. Help us to turn the other way. Help us to live according to Your rules and Your statutes and commands, and we trust that this will be best for us, and glorifying to You. God, help us do this in our lives, in our families, and in the church. We pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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