If you have followed this blog for long, then you know Pilot is the one at our home who cooks. He is creative, innovative, and an expert chef in the kitchen. All things I am not.
He likes to experiment. I do not. I follow the directions of a recipe no matter how many times I have made it. I figure if the recipe tastes good the first time I make it by following the directions, why improvise?
Recently, this difference in cooking and following the directions of a recipe surfaced. Pilot made a recipe I have made and loved for almost fifty years. Yep. That long.
When I took the first bite, I realized something was off. It didn’t taste right. I asked Pilot if he followed the recipe. Yes he did.
I took another bite. Again, I asked, “Are you sure you followed the recipe?”
Again, Pilot replied, “Yes.”
Maybe so, but I wanted to make sure.
We pulled out three copies of the recipe. My original hand-written recipe card, and two church cookbooks I submitted the recipe to. Each recipe was the same. Step by step. No deviations in either one.
I looked around the kitchen counters. One important part of this recipe was missing. A lid to cover the pan. Small thing, perhaps, but covering the pan for five minutes is part of the directions in the recipe.
Easy enough to skip over. Pilot had a good reason not to cover the pan. But without a lid covering the pan, the juice from the tomatoes in the recipe would not stew. If the tomatoes did not stew, they would not create juice. If the tomatoes did not create juice, the recipe would not taste the way I believed it should.
I tell you this story for one reason. Sometimes we may not think we need to follow the directions written down for us in the Bible. If we think that, we’re wrong.
When we do that, we might think we have good reasons for skipping something, adding something, or removing something.
Maybe we think we can improvise to suit our lifestyle. Or maybe we want to be a little creative. We add a touch of this or remove a smidge of that. We might even want to skip a few steps altogether.
We don’t particularly care for the part in Deuteronomy that talks about holiness, so we decide to disregard it.
That one area in Jesus’ sermon on the mount feels a little restrictive, so we decide to improvise to suit our needs.
And Paul’s letters on church conduct? Oy, vey.
The Bible is God’s Living Word. It is both prescriptive—explaining how we are to live, and it is descriptive—describing events that occurred.
In neither case are we to add to it, nor are we to subtract from it. So let’s decide to follow the directions, all of them, and not skip any steps.
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So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them. Deuteronomy 12:32 NLT
You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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Thanks for your thoughts, Sandy. Sometimes I think people believe God is keeping them from having fun, but when I consider His guidelines – I realize they are there to keep me safe.
Absolutely, Joni. It’s all in how we view God, right?
Sandy, I chuckled as I read this! It is soooo true! Good commentary1
Thanks, Marsha. You know what a good cook Pilot is, so you know he had a good reason to skip that important step. But we’d better not do that with God’s directions, right? 🙂
great analogy, Sandy! We can often be tempted to skip or improvise parts of God’s Word we don’t like, so this is a good reminder for us!
Thanks so much, Kathy. We can have a tendency to do that, can’t we?
So true, Sandy! As I read your post, I thought about the old saying about “cafeteria-style” reading, where you pick and choose what suits your palette.
Cathy, I love that. I’d never heard cafeteria style before. It is so true. A lot of times we only want the dessert, right?