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09 February, 2014

Deuteronomy Salvation Gratitude and Love! 2/2

Deuteronomy 8:11
"But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today."

Deuteronomy 12:1
"These are the decrees and regulations you must be careful to obey when you live in the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must obey them as long as you live."

Deuteronomy 12:8
"Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please,"

When you digest the contents of the book of Deuteronomy, you can vividly see why so many Christians today are wrong. They find the true Christianity too hard and tedious and most of us are not quite acquainted with the inner life. Like the Israelites, God is taken for granted at every turn. In Deuteronomy 8:11 Moses told the Israelites “be aware not to forget the Lord by not keeping His commandments, His statutes and His ordinances.” We can clearly see as we read God’s word, that by keeping them we have life. In the February 7th post, I mentioned that the Christian life God taught me was a busy one because it takes every ounce of one’s strength and every bit of who you are must abide. I want to elaborate a bit further on it because it could be misconstrued. In Deuteronomy like in today’s Christian life, God’s plan has not changed. He always wanted for all those that are His to learn to keep His word to regulate their lives. He wanted His word to be what they fed on, to sustain and guide them. He wanted through it all, to become their God and their sanctifier. Anyone who tries to walk in this manner will tell you that at the level of the mind, this life is extremely busy because you cannot achieve this level of obedience and intimacy with Him without making the effort, moment by moment to constantly keep His business in the forefront of your mind.

The Israelites missed out on God’s leading and they missed out on the activities of God’s transforming power in their lives. This is usually what happens when we reject His leadership while we get comfortable and take Him for granted. Most of the time you will find in the absence of God’s transforming activities in one’s life, there is a need to change our behaviour as we mimic the qualities and attributes of a model Christian, all in the flesh with no spiritual values.

Years ago I bought a water heater and put it on my fuel bill. But the interest rates were so high; it was like borrowing money from the mafia. So the next month, I decided to make a big payment that would cover at least half of the cost of the water heater. I intended to pay it in full in the next three months instead of two years as they laid it out for me. When I called customer service to have them apply the payment toward the water heater, during the conversation the lady at the end of the line told me, well by making this payment, you completely altered the terms of this contract with us. In my mind I remember thinking “so what?” But, even though I was a brand new Christian, I never forgot her words because I knew God is a covenant God. God does not take it kindly to have a bunch of pretenders in the Church. He does not take kindly to those who are butting heads with Him and expect Him to pay up because He cannot lie.

Most of what I see around me is people following their Pastors, their Priests and spouses and God is no longer the head of most Churches or households. We have learned to practice our religion while learning to behave well to get our hearts in a place of conformity. Believe me, I wish what I am talking about was simply my own opinion. But, it is not. Anyone with a sound spiritual mind can see this is the situation in today’s Church.  When God opened my spiritual eyes, I found out, me too, I was following my pastor instead of God and I was trying very hard to learn to conform even though I was not good at it. When we fail to make God’s word the very thing we feed on, meditate on it and live by it, and when we fail to let His word and activities transform us we become easy prey. Someone can stand in front of the pulpit, utter the grossest stupidities about God and we are so numb inside we can’t differentiate between truth, lies or wrong beliefs.

In the end, all He wants on a global scale is to lead us to become a people being changed from glory to glory. He wants us to love, serve and obey Him in His way. He wants to purify us, preserve us and renew us day by day as He uses us to influence those around us. This was His goal thousands years ago with the Israelites and it is still His goal today with us Christians. We serve a changeless God. Why do we insist on living like sheep without a shepherd, is beyond me.