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06 February, 2014

Deuteronomy 6-9 – Warnings – Promises – Gratitude & Obedience to God-Part 4/4

Exodus 32:9-10
Then the LORD said, "I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation."
Moses recounted the story in Deuteronomy 9:24-29 “You have been rebellious against the LORD ever since I have known you.  I lay prostrate before the LORD those forty days and forty nights because the LORD had said he would destroy you. I prayed to the LORD and said, "O Sovereign LORD, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin.  Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, 'Because the LORD was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the desert.' But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm."

As I read Deuteronomy chapter 9 I fell in love with Moses heart and attitude toward God and prayed that I never depart from what He taught me.  Verses 24-29 touched my heart and even though I know God has already dealt with this part of my heart in how I respond to Him in my daily walk, I felt the need to pray to Him for my preservation.  Here is why.  In these verses, we have a great example of what it means to use the deposit God makes in us to draw close in oneness and intimacy. When we read about Moses in the Old Testament, we have to be completely out to lunch not to see the meekness in this man’s heart, attitude and actions. Even God acknowledged his meekness.  On more than one occasion, God wanted to destroy the Israelites and blotted their names out from under heaven. By the same token, he offered Moses to make him a great and mighty nation. If Moses had accepted God’s offer and promise, he would have been in his right to do so. He would have been entitled to it because God made the offer and He could not have taken it back if Moses answer was “yes”

In the end, those chapters of Deuteronomy that I have been talking about in the past three posts, teach us a lesson that all of us should aspire to. Moses’s attitude and response to God in regard to His offer to make him a powerful nation shows what it means to truly love God and be one with Him. When your heart has been touched by God through His gracious and generous Salvation, and when you understand through the Holy Spirit’s eyes what this walk with Him is all about, you do not see God’s promises to make you something or give you something. You are past that stage so much, it is almost like it has become the last thing on your list. Of course, this comes with Spiritual growth and maturity in the faith. You do not see the fact that He promised you a place in heaven. You do not care about the privileges you are entitled to as the King’s heir. None of these matters to you. All your heart could see is “His glory.” You could care less about all that He can do for you. I keep repeating myself here for a good reason. I want you to see it through your spiritual eyes and I want to pay attention to it.

This kind of growth happens only when we become so merged with Him, regardless how long we have been a Christian, as we live in His Holiness and His righteousness, the self has been annihilated so much, that you are watching yourself not being elated by His promises to give you something especially IF IT IS AT HIS OWN EXPENSES. With the self being dealt with, there is room only for Him to live His life within you so much so, that your answer to Him is always according to what Christ would respond. Hence why, Moses did not want this blessing in Exodus 32:10. I love the fact that there is a paradox there. You would be wrong to think that Moses had the power to refuse something like God promised to make him “a great nation" without God’s grace at work in him. 

When this kind of things happens to you, it is like you are watching someone else doing things within you because you know there is no way on earth you would not go for His offer instead. When things like that happen, you know without a doubt that it is not you who is living this life but Him in you. You are jealous for His reputation and your answer to Him contains the same kind of motive, attitude and love that you see in Moses answer in Deuteronomy 9:28. The funny thing is, when you sort of sit down to think about what just happened there, you cannot help asking yourself why is it there is something in you that is guarding God so jealously that it feels as if you are completely forgetting that God can take care of Himself. Yet, you cannot help it simply because you are living out Galatians 2:20 in full fledge.

 I am not saying that we should not enjoy God’s promises. Oh No! That would be so wrong, I would not know how to describe it. I personally truly enjoy God’s promises and I live with expectancy in my heart. But what I am saying is that His promises are at the bottom of your list when your heart gets hold of Him. When you get what Salvation means, according to His plans, you actually find the next best things are a heart filled with gratitude toward Him, a strengthen faith a need to obey and you are watching His Agape love permeates your heart slowly.  In living out the real Christian life, in spirit, you will find out all these things I mentioned above come way before you even think about what’s in it for you.

This is why I keep saying, if after decades of calling ourselves Christian and we know nothing else about Him except holding on to His promises like a dog with a bone, then we miss the point of Salvation completely.  The Israelites already had this mentality and it did not work for God at all. In the end, God did not fail the Israelites and He did not fail in His promises to them. The truth is, they failed God! When we fail to know God and walk with Him in the way He planned for us, Moses tells us exactly in Deut 9:27, we are there because of our sin, our rebellious heart, and wickedness. Ask yourself, when was the last time you examine your heart to meet with God face to face and deal with your sinful and wicked heart?  Most of us can’t. We do not even accept the fact that we are wicked. We have no problem seeing it in unbelievers while we act as if it is not for us. I noticed whenever I speak about my wicked heart; I offend the people I am talking to. They have a need to correct me and usually they are quick to blame the devil for me feeling this way or even acknowledge that I have a wicked heart.

I could go on for days with what I see in Deuteronomy that we need to apply in our lives today. But I will stop there. I pray that God would touch your heart and that you would be moved to give Him the love and obedience that is due to Him. I pray that you would learn to see that Christianity cannot be compartmentalized, but it is a lifestyle lived out in Him and through Him!