Friday, March 26, 2010

The Path to the Promised Land

So, in my journey from the bondage where I've come from to the full inheritance and security of trusting God and God alone, the Lord listed out these steps for me to follow from Deuteronomy 3 & 4.

Remember the Truth! "You saw how the LORD our God helped us destroy King Sihon and King Og [the enemies opposing us]. So don't be afraid! Wherever you go, the LORD will fight on your side and help you destroy your enemies." (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

Help one another be strong and brave! "Joshua will lead Israel across the Jordan to take the land, so help him be strong and brave..." (Deuteronomy 3:28) Take a look around you. Who is taking this journey with you? We all need encouragers along the way. Help them be strong and brave. Remind them of the strength of our Almighty God.

Listen to the LORD and obey Him! "Listen to these laws and teachings! If you obey them, you will live [truly live!] and you will go in and take the land that the LORD is giving you." (Deuteronomy 4:1)

Remember that the LORD is giving you the land! It's His to give. Take it!

Pray - He answers! "We have a God who is close to us and answers our prayers." Friend, I don't know about you but as the weight of that Truth just settled over me, tears involuntarily flowed from my eyes! He - the God who created the universe with His words - is close to us! He's closer than our next breath and He answers our prayers. Is that not reason to pray? We're told that we have not because we ask not. (see James 4:2) Do you need direction? Ask Him. Do you need courage? Tell Him. "Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." ("What a Friend We Have in Jesus", Joseph M. Scriven)

Keep reminding yourself what God has done for you and testify to others - especially your children... "You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well." Take the Lord at His word and do this - literally! Write them down. Psalm 78 talks about the importance of writing down the praiseworthy deeds of our God. It's important for us AND it holds great blessing for the generations that follow after us "so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God." (Psalm 78:6-7a) Not only can we dwell in the Promised Land for ourselves but we can leave a legacy for those that aren't even born yet! How gracious is our God!

Teach your children to obey God... "teach their children to obey me too." (vs. 10b) One thing that the Lord has really been teaching me lately is that I learn His lessons better as I teach them to others. The more that I talk about them and study them, the more that they take root in me. "Memorize His laws..." that really should be a point all of it's own on this pathway to the land of promise! "... and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. Write down copies and them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them." (Deuteronomy 6:6-8) Again, take Him at His word. I have a couple of pieces of jewelry with scripture on them. I wear them on those days that I know that I need Truth within eyesight. My daughter knows what they say and why I pull them out. She knows because the Lord has prompted me to teach her. I pray that these things are priceless to her when she inherits them.

NO IDOLS! "be careful not to commit the sin of worshiping idols." (vs. 15) Friend, I wish that this were an easy command. We are deceived if we see idols as merely wooden or stone replicas of some ancient god. Whatever we choose to worship - other than God alone - is an idol. I've served a number of them. Self... materialism... problems... others... food... if we are bowing down to anyone or anything else but God we are in error and God's blessing is not on us. Can money buy you happiness? Can another individual meet your every need? These things can not be god. They cannot save you. Seek first the Lord and His righteousness and He'll look after these things (see Matthew 6:33)

Oh, LORD. You know that I am but dust and yet I am precious in Your sight. I desire to dwell - permanently - in Your land of promise for me. You have redeemed me out of bondage into freedom and joy. May I receive the full inheritance that You hold for me. I'm resting on the promise that Your grace is sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in my weakness. What You are commanding me this day is not too difficult for me or beyond my reach. Lead on, O God! I choose to worship You and You alone. In the precious and all-powerful Name of Jesus - let it be done!

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