These weekly posts show the Triad teachings. Starting at week 1 and progressing through the weeks will help you see the logic of the series.
Dedicate Yourself to God
God commands us to be dedicated. He also motivates us to be dedicated. We are, first, motivated by Love. We are grateful for what He has done for us and we want to repay Him. This love is often mixed with fear. In the highest states of spirituality fear is not mere self interest, but a fear, almost, of failing to love Him.
There is more to this though. It just isn’t true that all born again Christians are dedicated. Why not? The answer is that the conflict with our lower nature hinders our dedication. For this reason God also motivates by the “carnal” fear of self interest.
Consider the following verse, where God tells the Israelites to choose, and lays before them curse and blessing:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”.
Many Evangelicals will tell you that “since we are not under the curse of the Law” then we no longer face such choices. But then who is Paul speaking to when he warns us to choose in 1 Corinthians?
1 Corinthians 10. 1-12.
“For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our
ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the
same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness”.
“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.’ We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel”.
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it”.
Therefore we must apply our will towards dedication and choose to follow God. We must be radical with our lower nature and resist temptation with a full effort. We should not ignore the multiple New Testament warnings that are spoken to Christians. These warnings, and the fear we experience are from our Father. The good news is that when we choose to obey and follow God then He protects us and will not let us fall, but carefully measures our trials and temptations in order to preserve us.
We will see next week some of the ways that God helps us with this battle, by looking further at God’s role in our dedication.