Divine Plans and Obedience

When spiritual power is low and worldly principles come into the Church, the tendency is to find the divine order irksome because it makes certain demands on a good spiritual condition—a condition not present. It also exposes the worldly weakness which is present. So, the strong temptation is to be careless as to the instructions of Scripture which are thought to be useful on many occasions, interesting, instructive but optional—something that may be obeyed, not something that must be obeyed. All this, however, is entirely swept away by the fact that these instructions are "the commandments of the Lord." We thus are not at liberty to alter them according to our tastes and feelings.

As an analogy, think of what was instituted in connection with the Law of Moses which only gave "the example and shadow of heavenly things" (Heb. 8:5). When Moses was about to make the tabernacle, God told him to "make all things according to the pattern shown to you in the mount" (Heb. 8:5) Moses strictly followed God’s pattern. Later, when the permanent house was to be built in Jerusalem, "David gave to Solomon, his son,…the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit…all this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing" (1 Chron. 28:11–19). Again, every detail was divinely ordered in writing. In the New Testament we have in writing the divine instructions as to the order of God’s spiritual house. Are we given any more liberty to tamper with these instructions than was allowed as to the instructions for the material, earthly house? Certainly not!