“2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” Deuteronomy 12:2
What a privilege I had to spend ten days in Israel this past week. The country is rich in natural and religious history. The amount of active archeological digs is astonishing.
Israel’s history can be easily summed up as a series of successes and failures, failures which could have been avoided. Their story is not much different from ours.
Throughout the book of Deuteronomy God encourages the people to remain obedient to His commands. God’s commands are not meant to hinder us but to bless us with every good thing.
Obedience identifies us as people who belong to God.
God wants to demonstrate through our obedience how even though we may be outmatched, under-equipped, surprised, and unprepared, obedience to God gives us an unforeseen advantage.
The path of disobedience will lead to frustration, a lack of peace and spiritual and physical death. Happiness is not the by-product of living life our way but in having a relationship with God and living by faith.
Israel’s disobedience, like ours, will nullify the blessing and favor of God in our life. It will lead us to failures that could have been avoided if we live by faith. Obedience is faith; faith is obedience.
It’s the areas in our life that are not aligned with God’s word that creates a weak link or stronghold in our life. A stronghold is an invitation to open the door to struggling.
In Deuteronomy 12:2-3, God instructs the people as they move into the promised land to destroy the altars dedicated to false gods. In verse 4 He says, you shall not worship God that way. They did not always do that.
The word destroy in Hebrew means to obliterate so there would be no trace of them left
These altars contained idols, the images of the god’s other people worshiped. An idol is anything a person worshiped that took the place of worship to God.
What idols are lingering in your life?
- Unhealthy relationships?
- Free time?
Are there habits, behaviors or attitudes in your life displacing faithfulness to God and His commands? Idols must be utterly destroyed, or they will compete for your attention and affection for God.
These things will become a stronghold in your life that will make serving God very difficult and put God’s favor and blessing on hold.
As a Christian, we must exchange our way of life for obedience to God.
God’s commands come with guaranteed blessings. Likewise, our disobedience comes with predictable outcomes.
Whatever idol you choose to hold onto will create tension towards obedience. What you don’t surrender to God today will become the object of consequence tomorrow.
- The key to a better life is obedience to God.
- The key to a better marriage is obedience to God.
- The key to a living continually in the favor and promises of God is obedience.
Through obedience there is;
- no wall that won’t fall,
- no mountain that cannot be moved,
- no army that cannot be defeated.
In obedience, you are never overmatched or outnumbered because the battle belongs to the LORD! Partial obedience is as no obedience. Obedience is an all or nothing proposition.
God will be patient with us for a time, but ultimately requires our full obedience for His continual favor and blessing in your life.