I don’t know about you, but sometimes I read the Bible and think, “Wow! I can’t believe how faithful that person was!” and resign to thinking that I could never be as great as they. Sometimes I even feel discouraged because I know that I can’t live up to God’s standard. I mean, Romans is pretty clear that I, myself, can do nothing to attain righteousness. And for those women out there – how can any of us possibly live up to Proverbs 31?! But what I failed to realized until this morning, is that I can obey Scripture. I can be the woman God intends me to be. It’s so simple!
Granted, I, myself, cannot. If I were to claim that then 1) the Bible would be false, and 2) I would be super-human, neither of which is the case (though I imagine it would be fun to have a cape and be able to fly around town). But with the Holy Spirit’s power, I can. This I already realized. Though I think I also had a hard time actually living it out. What I realized today is a very simple message found in Deuteronomy.
In this passage, Moses is about to die, hand the reigns of an entire nation over to Joshua, and the Israelites will go into the Promised Land with the orders to obey God and destroy all idolatry and immorality in the land. Unfortunately, we know that they do not. Instead, they do not destroy all of the evil in the land and even take part in it time and time again. I found this passage particularly powerful:
This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. – Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NLT)
How simple is that?! Not too many verses before this, God says that He will circumcise their hearts, as long as they obey Him. We find similar terminology in Romans 2. Romans also talks about how even those who do not have the written Law (those who are not Israelites) have God’s Law written on their hearts (also known as General Revelation). I think it’s pretty clear that God’s plan of redemption was there the whole time! But we have a choice to make about how we respond to God’s plan of redemption and how far we will go to live our our faith. I love how Verse 15 puts it: “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.” The fact is, we do have a choice to make! Will we sit back and make excuses that we’re not capable of following Christ’s example in every way because we’re too human, or will we take a stand for Him knowing that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”?
I had the privilege of giving a speech at my high school graduation. I told a story of a man who feel from a 70+ (if I remember correctly) story building. He was one of those guys you just get irritated with because he’s too happy too often. One of his co-workers went to visit him in the hospital, and there he laid still “too happy too often”. The co-worker couldn’t take it anymore and asked what the deal was – why was he so happy all the time? His answer was simple: he makes a choice daily. Every day he asked himself whether or not he would choose to have a good day or choose to have a bad day. This story has always hit me hard. Far too often we just accept things “as they are”. We tell ourselves, “I’ve had a bad morning” and let the rest of the day go to the pits. Or we admit defeat before the battle has even begun because we think there is no way on God’s green earth that we could accomplish this or overcome that.
STOP GIVING UP!
Deuteronomy, as well as many other passages in Scripture, are very clear that we have unreachable powers through God. Who are we to say what He can or cannot do? And that goes for us too. Because by saying that we cannot do something is saying that God cannot do it. And I assure you, He certainly can!
So what choice will you make today? Will you choose to obey God’s laws – ALL of them – and honor Him alone? Or will you choose to throw the towel in because you’re certain you’re not strong or capable enough? We have so much at our disposal as followers of Christ. It’s time we start using them! Especially through prayer and reading the Bible. It may not be easy, but it is simple. And you’ll no doubt be absolutely amazed at who God will make you to be. “[God’s command] is very close at hand!”
Posted on March 7, 2012, in Christian Living and tagged Bible, cape, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Faith, Family Ministry, God, Jesus, Pastor, Religion, Risk, Student Ministry, superhero, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.