Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Following God is Enough

“You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” 
Deuteronomy 5:32 (ESV)

I must confess that I am a naturally self-absorbed and stubborn individual. I like figuring things out on my own, blazing my own trail and standing my ground. Admittedly, this is rarely the best course of action, especially as a leader, and I am grateful that God has brought enough people into my life over the years to show me that following God just might be the better course of action.

As a prime example, when my wife and I were dating we attended a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl. The parking there is primarily located on the golf course next door and after the game, I became disoriented regarding where the car was and we spent several hours walking in circles until we finally found the car. I wasn’t truly worried until we saw the flashing lights of tow trucks entering the golf course. While we were able to laugh and joke during our journey, my wife-to-be had stated at the outset where she believed the car was parked. I, of course, ignored her, set about on my merry way and eventually ended up right where she had first suggested.

How often do we treat God in a similar manner? He has blessed us with the Holy Spirit who is a daily guide to keep us on the path that God has designed for us. If only we would slow down, listen, and then respond appropriately. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves living more like Pinocchio who completely ignores Jiminy Cricket, winds up in a world of hurt, and must be swallowed by Monstro the whale before we finally decide that that still small voice just might know a thing or to.

In this passage in Deuteronomy, God reveals His heart’s desire that we would always fear Him, follow His commands and trust that He has great plans for each of us.

We are commanded to learn His commandments and expectations. We are encouraged to never turn from them and go our own way. As we remain in a worshipful place of awe concerning God, this becomes easier to attain.

Once I begin to lose sight of who God truly is, I begin to think I am king of my own world again.

Why does any of this matter? How is just following God enough? Because of the promises that are tied to our following. It will go well with us and our families. We will live long and have abundant life and experience the blessings that our Almighty God desires to pour out in our lives. Does this mean we will never have stress, or bills to pay, or other discomforts of life? Absolutely not! But in the midst of it, we know that we are following a loving and merciful God who will never leave us high and dry.

Be encouraged that regardless of what it might feel like in the midst of your circumstance, just following God is truly enough. He will guide your steps, overwhelm you with peace and provide the strength and grace for the day. Let’s prayerfully be a bit less like Pinocchio today and a bit more like Isaiah who simply said, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”

Dear God, thank You for Your love and Your desire to have an abundant relationship with me. I confess that all too often I take my own path and end up somewhere I really don’t want to be. Help me to listen to Your Spirit, to know Your commandments, but most importantly, to follow You every day! Amen. 

~ Mike

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