God’s Instruction Manual

God’s Instruction Manual

For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.
—Deuteronomy 32:47

Before I moved to Dallas, I did something I hadn’t done in fifteen years. I purchased a new car. Now, two things impressed me about that experience. Number one: I had forgotten how expensive cars are! The prices had definitely gone up in those fifteen years. But the other thing that made an impression on me was how narrow-minded those car manufacturers are. I mean, after I handed them thousands of dollars, do you know what they had the nerve to do? They gave me a little black book filled with all kinds of instructions—dos and don’ts about how I was to operate my car, the one I bought with my money.

Just listen to this and see if this doesn’t make you as angry as it made me: “The most important thing you can do to prevent a crash is to avoid distractions and pay attention to the road. Wait until it is safe to operate your mobile communication equipment.” Can you believe it? They’re trying to control my speech—when I can talk and when I can’t talk. What if I get the urge to call my wife? They’re trying to tell me I can’t do that while I’m driving.

If that didn’t get you, listen to this: “Never remove the coolant reservoir cap while the engine is running hot.” They don’t explain why not to do it. They just expect me by faith to obey what they say. What if I’m curious; what if I want to see what is down there? I can’t take the cap off?

Or listen to this one: “Always drive with your seat back upright.” My car has a reclining seat. What if I’m tired and want to take a nap while I’m driving? They’re trying to tell me how to spend my free time; they won’t let me relax. Who do the Ford Motor people think they are anyway? Trying to tell me how to run my car that I paid for with my money?

Obviously the Ford Motor Company didn’t prepare this book for their benefit. They prepared it for mine. They designed my car. They know every inch of it. They know how best it operates and under what conditions it operates most efficiently. Sure, it’s my car. I can run it however I want to, but if I disregard their instructions I do so at my own peril.

You know, God has given us the Bible. In many ways the Bible is God’s instruction manual to tell us how to live our lives. God gave us the Bible not for His benefit, but for our benefit. He’s the One who made us. He knows every part of us. He knows how we’re wired. We can ignore His instructions if we want to, but if we do, we do so at great risk. You see, the reason God gave us His rules for living was not to restrict our freedom but to enhance our happiness. And this month we’re going to look at perhaps the most foundational rules God has for operating our lives. We call them the Ten Commandments. And far from what most people think, the Ten Commandments were not given to restrict us but to liberate us, so that we can experience life as God meant us to experience.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God’s Top Ten” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.