MARCH 8, 2021


Deuteronomy 4 to 6

Mark 11

Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes


Remember to Remember - Steven Curtis Chapman


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5


There can be a tendency to overly spiritualize Scripture and look for deeper meanings when sometimes there is an obvious straightforward application. In the military, those in leadership decide on a strategy, with those in lower ranks submitting and following orders so that the battle plan will work accordingly. If every lower-ranking soldier simply did what he thought was best, disregarding the leadership, chaos and failure would result. In team sports, likewise, the coach calls the plays. If the coach says to go right and if specific players believe they know better and go left, chaos and failure would result. Adolescence was not even recognized as a stage until the last century. Parents were always in charge of a household, with children submitting to their authority and honoring them as the fifth commandment clearly states in Deuteronomy 5:16. But now rebellion is deemed "normal" and rebellion is accepted, with oftentimes very poor results. In each of the above situations, the leader is fallible, and submission might lead to failure. But God is infallible and submission to His perfect authority is always right. Though we can view the promised land as a picture of heaven, etc., we must not let our blessing of grace override the clear application of following God's commands. God's moral laws are just as relevant today as they were then, and He truly knows better. Though we are ambassadors on earth and citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), if we want to experience the best God has for us on this earth, we would do well to seriously learn and follow His plan for us.

We read in Deuteronomy 5:16, "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you." The following of this commandment goes along with a promise of blessing if adhered to. A little further in 5:29, we read, "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and their children forever!" In 6:24, we read, "And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day." But despite God's protection, guidance, provision, and brilliant direction, the people often chose not to believe Him, elevating their own plans over His, as we read in 9:23-24, "Likewise, when the Lord sent you from Kadesh Barnea, saying, 'Go up and possess the land which I have given you,' then you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God, and you did not believe Him nor obey His voice. You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you."

Why do we not experience God's best plan for our lives while on this earth? Often like the Israelites, we choose to go our own rebellious way. Then arrogantly, once we choose our own path, and things don't go well, we have the nerve to turn around and blame God for all the problems that we face. This does not mean that trials will not come to those who faithfully follow His commands, but as long as through the process we maintain our eyes on His commands and His leadership we will make it through the battle we are facing the best possible way. Even if the result is our death, we will glorify Him with the time we have on this earth, and be with Him when we breath our last, which is why Paul felt such freedom in the midst of his trials, and said in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." There is no trial or temptation that God cannot handle for us if we simply trust Him and follow Him. God will always provide a path for victory, but the question remains, whose path are we following? God has done and continues to do His part, but life is a participation event, and our part must be to eliminate those disobedient obstacles in our walk. Whatever nagging sins, obsessive thoughts, and false idols we have erected in our lives can be defeated if we submit the reins of our life over to the only One with the true power to direct our lives. Our day-to-day walk is difficult but could be rendered so much easier if we choose to follow His path in obedience.

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