Skip to main content

"MUST" says so much!

You must follow the Lord your God. Respect him. Obey his commands and do what he tells you. Serve the Lord your God, and never leave him. (Deuteronomy 13:4 ERV)
Follow, Respect, Obey, Do, Serve, and Stay - all seem like pretty easy-peasy kind of stuff until you put them ALL together and then you expect ME to actually live them out in my everyday life! This passage starts out with an "imperative" - you MUST. Must is a small word, but there isn't any wiggle-room in the action that is expected when MUST precedes that action. All of us must eat to live - the need to eat overrides reason sometimes. If you don't believe me, just watch one of those survivor shows where they have to live off the land and see what kinds of stuff they actually eat just because they are hungry! I watched one guy trap rats and eat them; another something that had been found dead on the ground - each seeking to meet that need for protein, but each making less than desirable choices. When we receive the imperative that we MUST follow the Lord, it isn't that we cannot look to have the deep inner needs of our hearts met in other ways, because there are always going to be other "options". The fact is, nothing and no one will meet those needs quite so well as he does - period!
Follow - when we follow anything, we are not only going after it, we are moving in the same direction as that which we are following. I think God starts with this because he knows if he can get us on the same page as he is on, we actually find ourselves growing quite pleased with the results. 
Respect - when we begin to follow him, it makes sense that we would defer to his movements and listen to his voice. To respect God means we simply defer to his judgment in our lives - we stop trying to control everything and we give him the ability to lead us.
Obey - along the way, we will be asked to do things we aren't always that comfortable with, or familiar with, simply because the things of the Spirit of God are different than what has been active in our lives up to the point we begin to follow him. Obedience stems from respect - we give way to his control and in turn, we begin to make choices which are in alignment with the truth he reveals.
Do - the outward evidence of obedience is always in the actions we perform. If our alignment is correct, our choices are likely to be at least "bordering on" correct choices, making our actions more likely to be good ones. At first, this may be harder than one might think, but in time, those good choices are easier and easier to make because we defer to him more and more.
Serve - all service is really is the idea of being of use to someone. We submit our time, talents, and treasures to God and he makes use of them. 
Stay - remaining consistent is the hardest part of any journey. We often start well, give it our all at the outset, and then peter out somewhere down the line. Why? It isn't for the lack of "want to", but more for the lack of focus. It means we somehow forgot we were following. 
To follow, one needs to focus upon that which is being followed - like the directions on how to bake chocolate chip cookies. We could "wing it", but if we do that the first time we are about to make them, we might just not realize there is a difference between baking soda and powder! Following the directions yields much better tasting cookies. Yes, in time, we can recount the "recipe" without even consulting the recipe book again. This is where obedience becomes a way of life for us. It isn't that we don't want to be obedient, it may just be that we aren't always remembering it is an "imperative" to life! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…