I talk a lot about Jesus, God's promises, and all sorts of questions that I hope will explore the work of the Holy Spirit. I use this space to try to unravel what God is doing in my life, and the lives of the people I care about. This is my life, and I write about it all the same.
Reading Deuteronomy 4-6 and I’m just awed by the consistency in God
Was just reading Deuteronomy 4 and 5. In Deuteronomy 4:2, Moses commands the people not to add to the word that God has commanded to the people, or take away from it, remaining instead in obedience. As much as I think about false prophets and how as humans we are inclined to pervert the truth for our own selfish ends, this passage makes me pause and realize that the wrongness in false prophecy comes from disobedience towards God, who IS the truth. I think about how much God has done for me, and it’s hard to imagine wanting to serve anyone else. And yet, the spirit of disobedience in not appreciating God for who he is preys among all of us, ready to drag willing hearts off and invalidate beauty as we are able to see it.
Righteousness is established by obedience to God in this passage, and what with grace, it feels like the body of Christ doesn’t focus as much on the desire to obey God as much as they publicize how we have been forgiven. We need grace, but in obeying God, all goes well for us. In Deuteronomy 5:29 (ESV), the word of God says: “Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and their descendants forever!” It was never God’s desire or intention that we disobey him, because following the words from the mouth of God are the way to eternal life. How often we blame God when we refuse to disobey him.
If I never have the theological basis for my faith, if “understanding” scripture never comes truly, and I never receive the earthly credentials to speak about God’s holy name, I know that my faith rests on doing what God says because who else should I be serving? If I serve myself, I die and then my life has come to nothing. Serving anything or anyone else ultimately leads to death, because we all die. And yet, God is eternal. He is the only one. Not even our planet earth has remained the same throughout all of time.
When God commands us to not worship idols in Deuteronomy 4:15-21, it’s because every last thing we could think to worship, he made. Why should we worship the creation instead of the Creator? We forsake the hierarchy in his goodness, and erase his holy name from all of history.
The Greatest Commandment, cited in Deuteronomy 6:4 and issued once more from the mouth of Christ, the law for which he died to fulfill, is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. How fitting that a God who is utterly impartial demands that we give our full selves to him, and he gives us so much beauty in return. Constantly, I see people who are in the presence of Jesus but do not invite him to work on their behalf and change the emptiness of their lives. For what? We die, and it will all be over before some of us ever ask help from the Lord we claim to know. Why believe in Christ if he doesn’t live? God wants my full heart, and by turning more of it over to him day by day, my life is made full by focusing all of my energy on the one who is truly worth it. There is no other person or place in this life that I can invest so much towards, and have that love stand in the end. We all die. I put my love in safekeeping by clinging to the heart of God, and seeking his beauty even when he feels more distant from me.
Maybe distance from God is a gift, that we could stand back and admire the infinity of his scale? That he would stretch on forever? That we would never have to be truly apart from him, as he casts us always in the grace of his shadow? How else could I see that my Father is in everything if I never step into places or situations where I’m running to find him? If I have to be shoved out of the nest only to flap measly wings as I sink through the air, then let it be in the direction of he who will catch me as I fall. There is no place I can go that he wont find me and be right there with me, so when I go, there I can serve him. I can serve with a full heart, knowing that my God is limitless, and is just as much in the place that I just saw him as the place where he will meet me, like Christ’s resurrection first from the tomb and then in Damascus. Is there anywhere God can’t meet us? He is present even in the darkness. Where can I run from you?
I’ve had an interesting week. I felt more tired that I really was, because of sleep and less time for relaxing than I would have liked for Fall Break. You know, much of my time this coming week will be spent in various places at church or at ministry places in the community. And I look upon my tiredness and griping knowing better than that I am tired. What a beautiful life, that I can seek and he would find me. And you know what, he is already what I need. Being in his presence is outstanding; it is my city on a hill. If I have to give up every last bit of sleep I’ve got, to God be the glory. He is better than this; than my tiredness and complaining and weary soul. He will give me what I need. I’m looking forward to seeing him this week.
I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.
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