If you were going on a new adventure and knew what you needed to do for it to go well, would you do it?
I have worked with people long enough to know that we often choose to undermine our own lives through decisions that are destructive. Many times we want good outcomes, but our not willing to do the things necessary for this to be possible.
The Israelites were heading out on a new adventure: settling into a new land.
From the scriptures come these words to them: “…If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.” Let’s break this down a bit.
You will live and multiply: There is a universal desire to live and to increase our presence from one generation to the next. Last night, my parents, now well into their 80s, were taking stock of how many great grandkids they had. I believe the number was 56. They are certainly modern days examples of a vibrant increased presences through the generations.
The Lord your God: This phrase implies belonging, a connection, and a relationship. This is not just about having a religious context or heritage. Through Jesus Christ we have come to understand this as a dynamic personal and community relationship with the Lord our God.
Bless you and the land: One working definition of blessing is the idea of being restored to our original purpose by God and through God. When we think about this in the context of ourselves and the space or land we work off of, this is an encouraging perspective.
Enter and Occupy: One of the roles of leaders is to enter and occupy space in this world for the good of others. It was 11 years ago that Warm Beach Camp was invited to begin ministry to people with developmental disabilities. This has taken a major commitment and it has required us to enter and occupy into a space and place we have never been before. What a blessing.
All of this makes you wonder what is the answer to the “if you do this”. Thankfully God doesn’t leave us wondering: “For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways.” (Deuteronomy 30:16)
This is one of those classic “easier said than done” commands. However, before you and I despair about our faltering ability to do this, think about what the possibilities are to accomplish this kind of willful alignment with God.
Jesus: Jesus fulfilled the laws of God. Along with the laws of God he brought to the forefront God’s grace. What this means is that by being in a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is through Him that we come into alignment with God. Scripture even says that we are viewed as righteous through Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit: We are not on our own. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. God does not leave us wondering about what to do. He makes it very clear. The Holy Spirit is a key part of God’s clarity in our lives.
Scripture: The truth is, God’s word speaks God’s life and ways into each one of us if we will spend time in it. Even this devotional today is made possible by just one verse in God’s life giving word.
Community: This is written to a group of people, not just an individual. We are meant to do this life together, with each other and for each other.
Is God asking you start on a new adventure? Is there some space you are to take occupation of for the good of this world?
Love the Lord our God and follow Him through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.