What does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?
The pathway to God’s discipline begins with a wrong view of God. But what leads to God’s blessing? Look at Deuteronomy 11:26-27. Moses said, “I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today.” If you want God’s blessing in your life, then listen to His commands. The word “listen” in Hebrew means “to absorb with a goal of application.” In chapter 10, we get a clearer idea of what Moses had in mind here. He said, “What does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (v. 12).
The first thing God desires from us is to fear Him. What does it mean to fear God? People try to soften that word by saying it means to have a reverential respect for God. No, to fear God means to be afraid of God–specifically, to be afraid of the consequences of disobeying God. A healthy respect for the holiness of God is the beginning place of all wise living.
Second, we need to walk in all His ways. If you want God’s blessing in your life, it means obeying God in every part of your life, not just select parts of your life.
Third, to experience God’s blessing, we need to love God and serve Him with all our hearts. Moses added this phrase to remind Israel that their obedience to God was not just out of some cold legalistic requirement or even out of fear of the consequences of disobeying God. Our obedience to God is based on our love for God and our appreciation for all He has done for us. That is the pathway that leads to God’s blessing.
Twentieth-century missionary Nate Saint, who was martyred for his faith, once said, “Obedience is not a momentary option . . . it is a die-cast decision made beforehand.” If you wait until you are in the middle of a spiritual battle in 2023 to decide whether you are going to obey God, you will have waited too long. The choice to obey God and serve Him with all your heart is a decision you make beforehand. Are you ready to say, “God, whatever happens in 2023, I am going to obey You in every part of my life”? It is that deliberate, die-cast decision that will lead you to experience God’s innumerable blessings rather than His discipline.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “New Year . . . New Choices” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Nate Saint, as quoted in Russell T. Hitt, “Jungle Pilot” (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1997), 232.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org