"Ready for a game?" I called out to my 8- and 10-year-old grand-kiddoes.
They dashed to the couch and snuggled beside me. "What are we playing?"
Each game I invent has strange rules and quirky turns.
As I give the instructions, I emphasize what they cannot do or what they cannot say.
Once they learn the do's and don'ts, the game begins. We laugh, learn and pass the time with delight.
God does the same thing. When He gave directions to many of His people, He used the same approach.
There was no game involved, but rather, with each instruction, a profound and life-changing impact to our destiny took place. And all because He gave instructions of what to do and what not to do.
What God Said Not to Do (Paraphrased):
- To Eve: Don't eat.
- To Cain: Don't lie.
- To Moses: Don't worry about your stuttering.
- To Joseph: Don't lose faith.
- To Abraham: Don't doubt.
- To Noah: Don't stop.
- To Sarah: Don't laugh.
- To Hannah: Don't stop praying.
- To David: Don't fail to repent.
- To Elijah: Don't run.
- To Jonah: Don't pitch a fit.
- To Joshua: Don't be discouraged.
- To Jeremiah: Don't think about your age.
- To Martha: Don't whine.
- To Paul: Don't give up.
- To Ruth: Don't look back.
If He was clear with all these powerfully influential people, why wouldn't He say the same to you and me today? His voice hasn't lost its timbre. His desire to be close to us hasn't faded, and His instructions haven't become lame.
With His love-overflowing authority, He speaks as we face the deepest pain and hardest times.
Here are 12 examples for us of what not to do:
- Don't worry. I have each moment planned, each day orchestrated (Matt. 6:19-34).
- Don't fear. Consider what I gave you—not a spirit of fear, but one of love, power and of sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7).
- Don't try to figure it out. Trust in me with all your heart; think of me in every situation, and I will show you the way (Prov. 3:5-6).
- Don't look back. Forget what happened yesterday. Focus on today. Hope for tomorrow (Isa. 43:18).
- Don't follow your wisdom. Seek mine instead. My thoughts and ways are higher than yours (Isa. 55:8-9).
- Don't let guilt in. If you repent, the slate is clean. The stains are removed (Ps. 103:11-12).
- Don't despair. I'm near you. I will save you from all the gloom and sadness (Ps. 34:18).
- Don't seek the things of this world. Seek instead a closer and more intimate relationship with me (Matt. 6:33).
- Don't feel lonely. I'll be with you when you get up. When you move and when you take off on your journey (Josh. 1:9).
- Don't envy what others have. I gave you what you need for today. I'll fill your desires with good things (Ps. 103:1).
- Don't listen to bad news. Fill your heart with my promises instead (Ps. 102: 3-8).
- Don't lament your weaknesses. I will strengthen you and I will help you (Isa. 41:10).
God does say to "Look to me for answers. Do love me with all your heart. Do expect a life filled with blessings."
Father, I understand the restrictions You placed for my protection. Thank You for Your guidance that leads me to the place that is best for me. In Jesus' name.
As you face today's problems, what is God telling you not to do?
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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