In Alignment with God

Yael Eckstein  |  September 16, 2022

people worshipping in church

Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
   but those who heed it resist them.
—Proverbs 28:4

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

How do you really know if you are in alignment with God? One of my favorite teachings is a line from Pirke Avot, the Chapters of the Fathers, a book that is almost 2,000 years old. It includes moral and ethical teachings from the great Jewish sages of the late Second Temple era and the years just following the Temple’s destruction in 70 AD. In chapter 2 of the Chapters of the Fathers, Rabbi Gamliel teaches, “Make His will into your will” (Pirke Avot 2:4).

Think about that. When what you will — what you want — is the same as what God wants, you know that you are in alignment with Him. This is beyond obedience. Obedience means that I am obeying, I am accepting the will of someone above me. It doesn’t mean that my will is the same. But if I make His will my will, it means I desire what God desires. I see the world God’s way.

So how do we get there? The simple answer is to look to the Bible. That’s where God told us what He wants from us.

In Alignment with God

We see this lesson in Proverbs when we read, “Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.”

The Hebrew word for “instruction” here is a word we all know, Torah. Torah does not merely mean “instruction.” Torah is God’s instruction, His Law.

This verse may seem simple, but it’s making a powerful psychological point. Our habits shape the way we think. When we live our lives according to God’s instruction, we start to see things His way. Our understandings of right and wrong, good and evil, and what must be done to repair what is broken in the world become aligned with God.

We’ve discussed in an earlier devotion that you can tell a lot about someone from what they praise. What and whom someone praises tells us what they value. When someone rejects God’s Torah and lives in opposition to His Will, the natural result is that they will praise that which God rejects. But when we live according to the Torah, we see clearly. This clarity empowers and encourages us to resist evil and fight it, not just out of obedience, but because we see things God’s way and our will and His Will are aligned.

Your Turn:

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