“I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord…
“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean… So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 18:1-5,24,30
“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped.” Joshua 5:13-14
We are so prone to looking right and left to make our choices, determining the better (or lesser of evils) for me and always ready to jump, when the Lord tilts the chin and says ‘stop, stay in the middle and look to me. Where you are with me is right.’ He operates on a dimension that is other-worldly, and as His children, we need train ourselves to consider His spiritual ways and parameters instead of earthly ones.
When we compare heathen ways with heathen ways, we can always justify some worse or some less bad. Sometimes we can even make excuses for possible good. But the Lord is clear: ‘If I’ve declared it unclean, it’s not to be considered, flirted with, gazed upon, or stroked. Stay away, and follow Me.’ He faithfully, in the process of our sanctification, leads us out of certain habits and ways of thinking, transforming us by the renewal of our minds and will. Why would we return, or jump onto another lily pad with similar stain? The flesh is weak, and too often our will cannot hold its ground. (Matthew 26:41; Romans 12:2)
So, the middle place is actually the highest place, the safe center where faith blooms and Jesus is and we are held. The world teases, pulls, and presses, but secure in Christ we are untouched. We must always revere Him as Leader and Lord. Would we cling to Him, and cherish His truth above all? Would we say a flat loud No! to unrighteousness and Yes! to His commands? Would we throw off the sin that entangles and run with eyes on Him? (Hebrews 12:1-2)
When we toy with return to former ways, or the tease of anything ahead that would entice us from Jesus, walking steadily in the middle of the Lord’s commands directs and protects our lives in righteousness.
Father, fix me in the middle of Your will, bold not to return to past sins, nor venture ahead nor away. You and Your word are the place I want to stay.