Posts Tagged Deuteronomy 30: 19

Blessing is a Choice

Deuteronomy 28: 2, 45          NIV

All these blessing will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. 45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord you God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11: 28 (NIV).

I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live. Deuteronomy 30: 19 (GW).

Lest we be deceived, thinking God has changed His tune since we are living in the New Testament, I included the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke.  There is blessing in obedience.  No one wants to hear this, I know.  Obedience is not at the top of our favored subjects. We should not mourn, though.  There is plenty of good news here.  Yes, if we do not obey, the curse, which is in the land, will overtake us.  You do know that there is a curse out there, right?  It came with the fall of humanity, but God’s blessing is bigger than the curse.  And, it is elective.  Anyone who chooses to participate in the blessing, rather than the curse, can.  We learn that from Deuteronomy 30: 19.  God allows us to choose.  So, we can choose to be blessed and why wouldn’t we?

Well, because the price is obedience and, honestly, our generation has a problem with being told what to do, even by God.  We are very self-aware and self-guided.  That is the choice we make.  Will we humble ourselves to the direction of the Lord, or will we adhere to our own form of wisdom?  The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it, but if you observe the world around you, I think you will find very few people who are actually submitted to the Lord.

The other question which must be addressed is, “What, or whom, are we to obey?”  Jesus answered that question in Luke.  We must first humble ourselves to hearing and receiving the Word of God.  Then we obey what the Word says.  That’s it.  Listen and obey.  It sounds easy but it requires slaying our egos and that is hard.  Still, I think I would rather have the blessing than build an altar to my already over-inflated ego.  What about you?!

Choices

James 4:4

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James had such a gentle and tender way of getting the point across, didn’t he? Well, sometimes we need someone to care enough to speak to us plainly. This is Jesus’ brother writing to us today. I said yesterday that we are called to be different from the world. James makes it much more plain. He said that “being in bed” with the enemy makes us adulteresses. Ouch! If that doesn’t sting just a bit you better take your pulse.

Of course, we all want to fit in and of course, the things of the world are attractive. God isn’t trying to deny us luxuries or pleasures, He just wants you to purchase them through the Kingdom instead of through the world. Why? Because the Kingdom is life and the world is death. God is trying to get life to us but we, being the great intellectual giants that we are, keep choosing death. I have always loved this passage from Deuteronomy, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). Father gives us the choice, like a multiple choice question on a test but before we can even choose, He gives us the answer. None the less, how many of us continue to choose death over life, the curse rather than the blessing?

To choose to live in the world and to be of the world is to choose death and curse. Jesus said that we are not of this world any more than he was. We live here but we are not “of” this world. Our choices are to be made on Kingdom principles, expecting Kingdom results. Brother James says it rather plainly – to be friends of the world, in other words living as the world lives, makes us enemies of God. Now here is the question. Do you think James wrote these words to believers or the unsaved? This is an important question because if you believe, like I do, that he wrote to believers then you understand that we, God’s own chosen and beloved, can become enemies of God by being lovers of the world. That is a huge statement. James saw a dynamic taking place in his own time and sought to address it. His passion poured out for his people. Let us, therefore, seriously contemplate our own place, whether in the world or in the Kingdom. What choices are we making on a daily basis that shift us from living in Christ to living in the world. Choose to be unique, peculiar. Choose life. Choose Christ.

Living Long

Genesis 6: 3

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

How long should we live? In this passage from Genesis God says a hundred and twenty years. Personally, I think that should be a minimum because this was after the fall. In other words, man in his fallen state should live to be one hundred and twenty years old. How long, then, should redeemed, restored people live? Before the fall and before the curse presumably people would live longer. Or before people learned how to die young, they lived longer.

Even in the depths of our disobedience people had an expectation of long life. In Psalm 90: 10 Moses wrote, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.” In this Psalm Moses wrote about the Israelites’ fallen state and how they had invoked the anger of the Lord. It is a lament, not a declaration. He is almost weeping as he writes this dirge. The Israelites were not living in the grace of the Lord. They had spurned the loving grace of God and chosen instead to worship idols. Still you couldn’t kill these guys. The life of God within them continued to bear witness in their flesh despite their gross disobedience. And to further undermine this life span limitation, Moses lived to the age of one hundred and twenty. Furthermore, “Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated” (Deuteronomy 34: 7). Moses was still climbing mountains when he reached the end of his life. He wasn’t feeble and broken and you are not meant to be either. We are children of the King, endowed with the life giving power of God Almighty living in our bones. He that called forth life from the very beginning is alive and well in every cell of our bodies right now. Only, we have the switch. We can be in life and health or we can increase in sickness. God said, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). Why, then, do we keep choosing death? For goodness sakes, Moses was 80 years old when he went into ministry. “Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7: 7). His ministry was just beginning. The job that he is still known for didn’t even begin until he was what some may consider advanced in years and then he stayed in that job for forty years. Let’s get a revelation folks. We have been lied to.

Now let us quickly look at Psalm 91: 16, “With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” While the 90th Psalm was written in the context of disobedience and God’s anger with the rebellious Israelites, the 91st Psalm is written about they who trust in the Lord. If you have section headers you may want to look in your Bible at this Psalm. My chapter heading reads “Security of the one who trusts in the Lord.” This is a direct promise to you if you live your life in Christ as we have been taught. If you trust God with you daily life then you should move out of the 90th Psalm into the 91st and expect to be satisfied with a long life. The late Kenneth Hagin said, “If you hear I have passed on you will know that I got satisfied.” And he did. He was satisfied with a long life and just laid his body down and moved to heaven.

Live as long as you want to and remain in good health the whole time. Be active and fruitful. Our Father has said “And I shall fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23: 26). So don’t go early unless you are satisfied. If you want to see your great-grandchildren then hang around and rely on the life giving power of our Heavenly Father.