This Week’s Reading: Deuteronomy 13-24
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2
Since God’s faithfulness is new every morning, stories of God’s kindness are everywhere for He carefully guards His treasures, and we are it!
Let me share some of God’s grace, His unconditional power and kindness in my life:
God healed me of a severe back injury, fibromyalgia, and brain tumors. He saved me from near miss car accidents, delivered me from smoking and alcohol, pushed me through bible college with honors, comforted me through a broken engagement, provided a home when I was without, established me in a great job teaching kindergarten, wiped out huge student debts through my loving father and husband’s generosity, provided a beautiful farm to grow a family, sustained me through five difficult childbirths, brought me friends in times of great need, healed my marriage, prospered my business, ushered us into rich faith-filled church communities, sustained my health, our finances, our children and so much more.
With breath in my lungs, healthy loving parents, kind siblings, and the joy of living in beloved Canada, my life is rich. I have encountered Jesus Christ and His Word, the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Father God with so many touchstones of God’s faithfulness, that joy remains the outcome. My life has been one fantastic leap and dance across life’s rushing rivers, and grateful, I live present, steadfast certain of God’s goodness.
Did times of trouble occur, despite the truth that God remains with me? ABSOLUTELY.
Life with God is rich, fat and wonderful but not trouble-free. Moses exhorted the Israelites to keep their eyes and hearts in alignment with God and JUST LOVE HIM with their OBEDIENCE. With God on their side, victory was assured:
When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deut. 20:1-4)
Moses knew the battles those kids in the desert were about to face would rock their faith. Moses knew that disappointment can stop people faster than any demons of hell, for when we lose heart in God, we turn aside to serve the useless gods we can hold in our hands and manipulate with vain control.
Enter the priesthood. Moses lined up the priests to exhort the people to consider their God. Much more than a pep talk along football championship sidelines, the priest called the men to recognize the power of their hearts. Either believe in God and trust Him or get out of the way, the priests would declare. God was about to battle for Israel, but only the faithful need apply. Doubters and fearful men, head on back to the tents. God could only use kids who trusted in their Big Papa God.
Worship was pivotal for the nation of Israel, a daily culture of sacrifice and devotion that shifted hearts away from current troubles and into relationship with the living God. Worship brings an immediate shift in perspective, from fear to faith. Israel needed to expect in God’s love and believe in God’s power. Prior to battle, each soldier had to know that despite darkened skies, sorrowful wounds or deep disappointments, God was large and in charge for Israel.
Moses knew that worship, that determined pursuit and delight in God, gives keys to your territory, WHEREVER and WHOEVER you are. Worship arises from the flames of thankful hearts as we recount the testimony of God Almighty in our lives. Huge expectation in God was crucial for victory:
You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. ( Deut 13:4)
Though trials come, and thankfully, trials go, God promises to bless each of us as we steadfastly focus on Him, despite all else which demands our gaze. May we recount our testimonies of God’s goodness in our lives and worship in spirit and in truth, that we may hold fast to God and win every battle.
Lord, we ask for more grace to pursue You, more courage to walk in all Your ways, more strength to hold fast to You, and more hope as we remember Your faithfulness. May we worship You for who You. Thank you God, for all You have done, and continue to do in all of our lives. You are worthy of all our devotion, love and abandon. You are worth the cost, the passion and the sacrifice of this steadfast walk before You. Thank You for staying in our camp. Now lead us forward, Holy Spirit, that we can take all the territory God has promised! Amen!
- What battle are you facing? Are you expecting God to help?
- What does holding fast to God look like on a Monday morning or a Friday evening?
- Do you believe that you are God’s special treasure? What evidence do you see?
- How do you worship God in times of trouble?
- What testimonies do you have of God’s faithfulness in your life?
Next Week’s Reading: Deuteronomy 25-34