February 22, 2017. Leviticus 26-27.
Leviticus 26:3 “If you obey all of my commandments, 4-5 I will give you regular rains, and the land will yield bumper crops, and the trees will be loaded with fruit long after the normal time! And grapes will still be ripening when sowing time comes again. You shall eat your fill, and live safely in the land,
14 “But if you will not listen to me or obey me, 15 but reject my laws, 16 this is what I will do to you: I will punish you with sudden terrors and panic, (TLB)
As a first-year teacher, I remember classroom management to be harder in practice than it was in principle. Admittedly I probably did it wrong more than I got it right that first year. I found negative motivation (punishment for not following the rules, instructions guidelines etc.) to be the easiest motivation for me to administrate. Rule by fear! I will not let these students control me, I will control them…(insert sinister laugh here).
As time went on and parent complaints rose, I had to re-evaluate my motivational system. Rewards, not only repercussions, had to be a part of the scheme. As I continued to mature as a teacher, I noticed a pleasant change in my classrooms. Management was no longer based on the student’s fear of me, nor was it based on the student’s desire to receive a reward from me, but somewhere along the line, I had developed a reputation for being a fair, kind, and fun teacher. Now my classes behaved appropriately out of respect for a teacher that they knew genuinely cared for them and their success as individuals. The reward/punishment system had been replaced by love and respect for each other. This new system included the rewards but now there was also joy, constructive correction, forgiveness, and even friendships that have remained unto today.
What motivates you to walk with God and be obedient to His plan and protection of your life? Is it the fear of doing the wrong thing and not wanting to suffer at the hands of a just and Holy God? Escaping the punishment of sin – therefore you strive to live a life pleasing to God.
What about the blessings and rewards that God can give you; is that what motivates you to serve Him, love Him and obey Him; what you can get out of Him and receive from Him?
I suppose either one of those motivations will produce some good in a life, but are they the best motivations? Look at verse 1 again and think about the two italicized, bold phrases, and consider that truth for the best motivation to walk with God:
26 “You must have no idols; you must never worship carved images, obelisks, or shaped stones, for I am the Lord your God. 2 You must obey my Sabbath laws of rest, and reverence my Tabernacle, for I am the Lord.
Re-order your motivation for being obedient and see if the rewards will follow and curses will be avoided. Choose the best motivation – because He is God. No other reason is needed. Because He is God, He is good. He is love. And in Him dwells no darkness. You can trust what God says, asks, instructs, commands, and directs to be the very best for you. For God so loved the world… He loves you.