During the final years of my nursing career, I worked for an insurance company that provided coverage for seniors and the disabled through a Medicare Advantage plan. In order to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries, the company was required to structure their benefits according to the guidelines of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). My role was to ensure that physicians administering care to patients under this health coverage were adhering to the CMS Conditions of Participation. It is sad to say that many of the physicians, who are required to uphold ethical standards, deviated from the protocols set forth by CMS. Even when the monthly audits proved that CMS measures were not met for their patients, they attempted to justify their wrongdoing. Needless to say, it was an ongoing battle to guide physicians who interpreted the protocols according to their own whims.
God had also given His Conditions of Participation to the Israelites in order for them to receive His favor and blessings. The Israelites were not required to guess or determine the standards that God expected them to keep. The book of Deuteronomy provides insight to receive blessings:
Blessings for Obedience
“Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 NLT
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed…Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” Deuteronomy 28:1-6 NLT
“The history of the people of Israel is filled with stories of disobedience and anarchy, followed by a return to God and obedience, and then followed again with more disobedience and conflicts. This pattern repeats itself again and again”
Sabbath School for Mobile
“We are all fallen beings, and if left to our own devices, if left to follow the inclinations of our hearts, we’ll surely wander from the path that God calls us to walk on.”
Sabbath School for Mobile
“wilfulness – the trait of being prone to disobedience and lack of discipline. fractiousness, unruliness, willfulness. intractability, intractableness – the trait of being hard to influence or control. contrariness, perverseness, perversity – deliberate and stubborn unruliness and resistance to guidance or discipline.”
Our natural inclinations lead us to follow our stubborn wilfulness and rebel against God. Because we seek to please ourselves, it is easier to disobey God then to be obedient to his commands. In order to escape from this vicious cycle of rebellion and disobedience, we must acknowledge and confess our sins before God through a Prayer of Confession. We cannot develop our own watered down versions of “God’s Conditions of Participation.” All it takes is wilful obedience to please God: We must study the Word of God to be aware of what He requires and His standards for obedience. God has not given us an impossible task, whatever He asks of us, He eliminates the guesswork through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their Wicked Ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Prayer for today: Dear God, I have followed my heart and sinned against you. Please forgive me. I want to be obedient to your will and to your way. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz