Written for the children’s page
Hey Lily, are you on Insta?
No I’m reading on my phone.
What are you reading?
The Bible! Why would you read that? It is so full of rules! Doesn’t it tell you not to swear, to obey your parents and never to smoke or drink or have fun? I wouldn’t read a book that bossed me around so much!
What are you reading, Zach?
The manual for my new drone camera.
Doesn’t that give you lots of instructions about how to care for your drone, rules about where you can fly it and how to operate it to get the results you want?
Yes, but that’s different! If I don’t follow those rules my drone will get damaged or destroyed. The first time I tried to fly it inside and nearly broke the ceiling fan!
Well, I think the Bible is the same. God made us and the Bible is like our instruction manual. If we don’t follow God’s guidelines for living then we will get damaged or destroyed too. You take the advice of the makers of your drone because you trust that they know the machine better than you do. Why not take God’s advice about you when He knows every gene in your DNA?
And, by the way, the Bible doesn’t say we can’t smoke or drink or have fun. It does say to look after our bodies because they really belong to God. And it says that if we choose to love and follow God, His invisible power, the Holy Spirit, comes to live in us and we are like a temple – a place to worship God. That is why we have be careful what we do with our bodies. But we can certainly have fun!
God comes to live inside you?!
Yes, crazy isn’t it? You could think of it like I am the drone, His Holy Spirit is sort of like the electricity that powers the drone, and the controller is God. Like you controlling your drone, I have to let God take over my life and direct me where He wants me to go. And I have to come to Him regularly for a recharge – that is what I’m doing now, reading my Bible to recharge my batteries!
That sort of makes sense. Do you pray?
All the time! I thank God for good things, ask His help when I’m worried or confused and tell Him about my day. He is my controller but He is also my best Friend. That is how I know that His instructions are because He loves me, not because He wants to cramp my style.
What do you think will happen if I don’t follow God’s instructions for my life?
I don’t know exactly but some people have got into addictions, got diseases, ended up in jail, or got kicked out of home or school. Other people’s lives look okay from the outside but they are so lonely and depressed because of the guilt they feel from all their wrong choices.
I think I want to follow God’s instructions. But there are so many! Where do I start?
Well, you just start by telling God you are sorry for not following Him before and ask forgiveness for the things you have done wrong. And then you ask Him to direct the rest of your life. It’s as easy as that. Jesus said the most important instructions were to love God with all your heart and to love others. So start there. Then you read the Bible to find out more details and ask God to help you do the new instructions you find.
What about those instructions about eating pigs and killing lambs and things?
Those instructions are Old Testament instructions. Jesus said He fulfilled those. We just have to worry about the instructions in the New Testament – so from the book of Matthew in the Bible. Some of them are even harder, like not calling people fools and turning the other cheek – but at least we don’t have to burn things on an altar!
Remember, it might sound hard but God’s Holy Spirit is inside us, helping us all the time. We don’t have to be strong or holy or pure by ourselves, we just have to obey. And say sorry when we fail!
Do you fail, Lily?
Every day! Then I say sorry and ask God to help me do better. It actually isn’t boring or horrid at all. It makes me happy!
Yes, you do mostly seem like you like your life. Ok, will you help me pray and ask God to become my controller?
Sure! Dear Jesus, please will you take over Zach’s life and be His Lord (controller) and please forgive Him for the wrong stuff he has done and for wanting to control his own life. Help Zach to live for you. Teach him about you from the Bible and help him to talk to you often in prayer. Amen.