I trust you God, because you love me

9 03 2006

I trust you God, because you love me

Deuteronomy 10:14-18 (NIV)  14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 11:31-32 (NIV)  31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

Deuteronomy 12:32 (NIV) 32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

We are a special people because God chose us.  It is not because of anything we’ve done.  Like my daughter – she is special because she is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, not because she has done anything great.  Other kids are good kids, but they’re not my kids.  They are not special in my eyes – or my heart.

God chose us to be His people.
Ephesians 1:11 (NLT)11Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.

I’ve done nothing to earn this inheritance.  I’ve done nothing to earn God’s favor.  I can do nothing to earn it.  However, I am free to reject it.

It is almost like a teenager rebelling against their parents.  If you want the blessings of a nice home, prepared meals, laundry service, transportation, and all the love and affection that goes with this, you will abide by the household standards of conduct.  But, if you don’t want to cooperate in creating a happy home, you are free to leave – but, you’re going to lose all the benefits.

God, in very direct ways, is telling us the same thing.  If you want to live the abundant life – to live in “a land flowing with milk and honey,” here is what you need to do.  Simply, obey the laws and precepts given to us.

Now, here is where I get a little philosophical.  Is this a cause and effect relationship?  Or is it an obedience or punishment relationship?

My answer is yes.  I believe God was working with an unsophisticated people.  They had been living in slavery for many generations – 400+ years.  They were not just a primitive people, they also had been subservient.  Their every move had been dictated.  It would actually be cruel to give a people like this too much autonomy too soon.  It would be too easy to abuse this authority – not to mention a lack of education and sophistication could easily go awry.

So, God stepped in and “demanded” obedience.  This provided structure and framework.  This is similar to the way we treat our child.  She is not given many choices in her life.  We don’t ask her what she wants to wear, when she wants to go to bed, or if she is OK with Mommy and Daddy taking her on a trip.  We make decisions and she goes along for the ride.

But in the process, she is blessed, loved, fed, and sheltered.  The same with Israel.  As they go along with God, great blessings come their way.  The blessings come because God is taking them on the right path.  As long as they go along with God, they receive all the benefits of doing the right thing.

However, should they decide to stray – they risk losing the blessings.  But, like a parent who cares for His children, God will often step in a reprimand the child in order to save them from greater harm.

As my daughter gets older, she is learning to walk and is finding new independence.  She loves to explore her world and find new things.  Last month her world existed about 12 inches off the floor.  This month, she is discovering things about 24 inches above the ground.  Soon, she will tire of the vertical depth and she will want to explore the world horizontally.  She will explore the back yard, the park, and then the neighborhood.

As she gains agility and speed, she’ll want to run out into the street.  But I will stop her.  Not because I am mean and arbitrary, but because of my love for her.  As she gets older and more independent, she will continually seek to cross the street and see what is over their.  And I will continue to stop her and try to teach her how to cross the street safely.  It will be my law and my decree that she not cross the street alone, until she has the wisdom and judgment to do that safely.  This will probably happen around age five (or so).

Until then, my law and decree stands.  If she disobeys, she could be killed.  That isn’t something I’ve done to her.  She brought that on herself.  Due to her ignorance and lack of sophistication, she has the ability to kill herself.  It is my job to prevent that.  In order to do that, I need to teach her discipline.  I will talk to her, reprimand her, try logic, distract her, scold her, and maybe even spank her.  In fact, I would even tackle her if I needed to.  If the situation were dire, I would yank her away from an approaching car.  This may scare her or even physically hurt her – but to save her life, I will do whatever it takes.

God gives us rules to live by.  He says, this is what it will take for you to achieve true happiness in your life.  By following his rules, we will be happier in all aspects of our lives.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially – our lives will be more complete.

When we disobey, which we have the right to do, we are likely to bring great distress on ourselves.  God will give us the freedom to wreck our lives.  Sometimes, because He knows us, He will let the consequences of our actions be their own reward.  Other times, because He loves us, He will step in to reprimand and teach us discipline.  To save our lives – He will do whatever it takes.

Whether it is too let us experience tough love, gentle teaching, or firm scolding – God is looking our for us and seeking to lead us to the blessings of the promised land.

What choice am I going to make?  Am I going to follow God’s ways and the path of blessings, or am I going to rebel and seek my own way?

Do I trust that the little things in my life are important?  Do I trust that God takes interest in these things and that He works to direct me onto paths that lead to greater abundance and blessings?  Do I trust that His little corrections – and the big ones – are for my benefit?

Father God, I’m ready to move forward.  Please lead me, guide me, and even correct me – if necessary.  I’m ready to follow your will.

I trust you God, because you love me.





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