A Call to Love and Obedience
12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. 13 And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.
In our passage today, as Moses calls to Israel—God’s chosen people of faith—the Spirit of God calls each of our hearts to fear and reverence the Lord with our very lives. As humans, we are all inclined to demand our own way—to live in a fashion that pleases our flesh and innate demands. Humans always want the power to make the rules; therefore, foolishly we can actually find ourselves fighting God for power. Study God’s Word and you will see nothing has changed with people over time. Unless Christ changes the heart, people use their power to champion what God calls sin—an evil act against God’s nature and character. Sin is evil, because humans are made in God’s image.
There is a cultural clash over such demands right now in our country. Abortion is only one example of demanding our own way. It is a choice but it is a very dangerous one, because the Lord commands we must not commit murder or shed innocent (blameless) blood (Ex. 20:13; Prov. 6:17). So, when humans demand such things, we are setting ourselves against Creator God and all creation responds and groans looking for the children of God to speak Truth (Ro. 8:22). Yet, that very example and issue divides family, friends, and has become a cultural clash in our nation. That is what sin does; it exalts human flesh rather than God and brings division.
Sin causes our hearts and souls—minds, wills, emotions—to become hardened to God’s authority, because we are more focused on pleasing ourselves and controlling our own lives. Knowing and understanding this about our human conditions is not a bad thing; in fact, it is actually a great blessing to know the Truth. Then, when we apply that understanding to our lives and choose to deny our flesh and instead obey the Lord, we step into godly wisdom. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious image; however, after repentance, grace brings forgiveness and a new way to look at life. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it (James 4:17).
Prayer: Lord, help me to serve you with my heart and soul, today. I know my obedience to your commands is for my own good. In Jesus’ name. Amen.