Standing Out

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

The opening of this chapter includes a promise - IF you obey all his decrees and commands, you WILL enjoy long life. The caveat? We have to listen closely and be careful to obey. Two very difficult things for us at times! Part of serving God is allowing God to help us get our heart right. We have a deceitful heart and have a hard time knowing how to 'behave' as a result of the confusion we feel at times. We know what is right, but we struggle to actually do it with any consistency. As God instructed - we have to 'repeat' his commands. What does repetition do? It allows us to hear time and again, considering with a fresh outlook each time we hear. We don't always hear all that is to be heard the first time, do we? Sometimes we need it to be repeated one way, then another, until we finally 'get' what is being said.

The Word of God isn't to be 'dabbled in' from time to time. It is to be a daily part of our lives. Skip a day after you have made it a routine you prioritize, and you will notice how 'different' your day actually is without that 'infusion' of his Word. Making time in his Word a routine is difficult at first, but it is so important to our spiritual well-being. We cannot always be 'spoon fed' the Word of God - we have to learn to feed ourselves. That means we get a Bible, get into it regularly, even if only taking it one verse at a time until we develop a 'taste' for it. The more his Word gets in, the more our sinfulness goes out! It is like putting clear, fresh water into a stagnant cistern - the constant flow of fresh water will eventually begin to change the water in the cistern. 

Living the way God desires us to live may mean we don't always choose the most popular of opinions. There will be times when we 'stand out' from the crowd because of what we choose to do, say, or trust in. That isn't a bad thing. God was preparing the nation of Israel to go into the Promised Land. As he did, he gave them these commands. In so doing, he was telling them they would 'stand out' amongst the other nations. A heart dedicated to the plans and purposes of God will always 'stand out'! Just sayin!

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