Friday, March 16, 2012
God didn't make it too hard!
Deut. 30:11 ¶ Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away.
Deut. 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?”
Deut. 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?”
Deut. 30:14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
Deut. 30:15 ¶ See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.
Deut. 30:16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the LORD your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.
The children of Israel spent many years grumbling and complaining about what God required of them. Even when the very presence of God was there with them in their company, they would not follow his laws. God continued to reach out to them, trying to make it as simple as possible for them to follow him. Here he tells them that what he's asking or requiring is not too hard! He told them that the law was very close and if they looked hard enough they would discover that it was in their mouth and in their heart. If they would do the right things with their mouth and heart, they would have "life and prosperity." If not, they would have "death and adversity." Ultimately what was in their hearts mattered because from their hearts came their motivation. The motivation was to love God, and in doing so, then they would walk in his ways.
Are there times when we think that following God is just too hard? Do we feel like he's asking us to give up too much or to change too many things in our lives? Do we feel like living for him in a radical way is simply too far out of reach? If so, we must also grasp this promise -- that it's not just that hard! Maybe we need to take our focus off of the things that we think are in the way of following God wholeheartedly. Maybe we're worried that God might ask us to move, or to give up our home, or to not live around family. Well, he just might, but that ought not to be our focus. Our focus is to love God. That's it -- pure and simple. Every single day of our lives we are to spend time in his holy presence, learning to allow a God of pure love to pour himself into us. When God is our focus, then, just as the Israelites, our hearts will be turned toward him. The result is that our mouths will also respond to him and to all that he is asking from us.
We are to abandon ourselves to his immeasurable love and then allow him to do with us whatever he would like. It is better to live life in the precious flow of his love than to allow ourselves to believe that he has made it too hard. It's never too hard when the priorities are right. Sadly, too many of us hold on to the things that we think we want. However, the result when we cling to those things is "death and adversity." Maybe not in such a blatant fashion, but it may affect the generations to come who have not seen radical obedience to the will of God. Choose him today. It really isn't that hard!
Lord, may I be abandoned to you and your love this day! Amen.