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  • Writer's pictureLucy Oyelade

#776. LIVING AS WE SHOULD? OR LIVING AS WE CAN? (22/3/23)


Today's devotional is by Lucy Oyelade.

“Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart”. (Psalm 119:2)

Dear reader, you have unknowingly walked in on a very Oyelade argument. I have made French onion soup because it’s raining and cold, and my husband vehemently objects due to his life-long shunning of onions and other “onion-adjacent” items (leeks, spring onions, shallots, and chives – how I ever cook anything at all with these restrictions is beyond me!) I wasn’t asking or expecting him to eat it. I wanted it. Anyway, we ended with me telling him I’m an adult and I’ll jolly well make whatever soup I want to, and he told me the smell was turning his stomach. Why are we airing our laundry in this very public blog, I hear you ask? Because as I said the words, “I’m an adult and I can do what I want!” I realised that this soupy situation might have attested to a more latent, spiritual problem.


The problem, largely, is the “can” versus the “should”. There are many things we can do – I’m constantly surprised by humanity’s ingenuity, creativity and depravity in equal measure. You only have to watch the news to find all three in a half-hour segment. But God tells us exactly what we “should” do. And quite honestly, I find that a relief! You will know the feeling that some days, deciding what to eat for dinner is exhausting. Sometimes you end up going with the adverts and ordering a takeaway that you neither fancy nor truly enjoy, because it’s not a treat with a bit of build up, but more of a necessity and you can order food. But the preparation is wrong, we’ve bought into the hype, and the “can” has seeped in. I did it because I can. It creeps into every aspect of our lives, not just our dinner plans. Society will allow us to not go to church, not pray, not read the Bible. We can distract ourselves with other things instead. But society’s allowance is nowhere near to being God-given permission.


In the next few blogs from me, we will have a look at Psalm 119. It is the longest Psalm in the Bible, but on reading it this week I have felt connected to it. It is a prayer of praise, a request for wisdom, an act of worship and a lament all in one. There’s a lot in there, including a lot of phrases that we will recognise from our worship songs. But the clear element running through it from start to finish is how clinging to God’s word is critical to our Christian life. Verse 2 says

“Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart”. (Psalm 119:2)

Are we living as we should? Or are we living as we can? I pray that together we will find the way back towards the should.


I encourage you to read the first part of Psalm 119 now (entitled “Aleph” – the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet), meditate on it, maybe highlight the bits that jump out at you. If you can, learn it. William Wilberforce, who was instrumental in abolishing the slave trade, was said to recite the whole of the Psalm as he walked home from Parliament through Hyde Park!

Feel free to comment below anything that strikes you from this first section, and we’ll have a closer look together next time (on 29/3/23).

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?

3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER

During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.

I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook

If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.


Please download the course handbook from:







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