The other day I was asking the Lord where to read. He said to read Psalm 1. As I read the Psalm, it hit me “Wow!” this is a great principle on how to live the successful Christian life, “I will have to remember this.” The next day at the gym I was listening to Bill Johnson, teaching on scriptural meditation and said a phrase that really caught my attention; “Principle without presence is Like a Kingdom without a king.” The principle that I gleaned from Psalms 1 was just that! A principle, but without the Lord, it was just a principle.
Where do you find life?
Jesus said in John 5:39-40, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” According to Jesus that in order to have life, you need to come to Him! Is he contradicting what the scriptures say? No! Jesus said that “they point to me.” The law (principle) without the context of relationship is bondage and death because none of us will ever be able to live out the principle correctly. We will always fail. It does not mean that they are any less true, but it is only in the context of a relationship with Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit can we apply and live out these principles.
Examples of law in the context of relationship.
There are several examples in scripture where we see the principle in the context of relationship. In II Samuel 5:17-25 David inquires of the Lord if he should go up against the Philistines and the Lord says, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.” And David successfully defeats the Philistines. The Philistines again come up against Israel. David already had the word of the Lord that He will give them victory over the Philistines, but David again inquired of the Lord, and He gave them different instructions not to go up against them directly but behind them. Go into the forest until they hear them marching in the tops of the trees and then attack them. And David again had victory over them. David had the principle, but without the relationship, it would have ended up in disaster.
Proverbs 26:4-5 puts us into a conundrum. How do we apply these principles it says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” Without the context of relationship and hearing from the Lord, it hard to resolve these two opposing principles.