What happens when you throw rules out the window? On the way down, they will almost always cause an accident. Once I took a plane trip to Iowa to visit one of our sister churches. As we came in for a landing at the airport, a man in another plane attempted to take off from the same runway. This pilot either did not carry a transponder on his plane, or his transponder was not turned on. (A transponder is a device which transmits a signal in response to an external signal. It is used to locate and identify objects.) Also, the pilot did not follow standard flight protocol by using a radio call to announce his intentions to take off. Seconds away from a head-on collision, the man finally steered his plane away so that we could safely land.

This near-miss reminded me of the dangerous way people live when they think they don’t need rules or accountability. The worst thing about this mindset is that it seeks self-gratification at the expense of everything else. It is only concerned about what is right for itself, not for God or others. It thinks, Get what you want, when you want it, doing whatever it takes to get it — and don’t let anyone stand in your way. The person who believes this way not only endangers himself, but he also puts others in danger. It makes no difference to him how many people he steps on or hurts along the way.

We can live without rules for only so long. Sooner or later, we will have an accident. What we really need is a heart-check. That is, we need to get right with God by submitting to His authority — then rules won’t bother us.

Contrary to our humble opinion, we don’t really know better than the rule-makers God has put over us. You may have a boss who pushes you hard or a parent who is a strict disciplinarian. Perhaps you disagree with our government’s legislations. God hasn’t asked you to agree with every rule, but He does want you to submit as unto Christ. The ruling can actually be a blessing — but only when you choose to obey it.

The cost of obedience is small compared with the cost of disobedience. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder