When I graduated from high school, I spent part of the summer as a carpenter’s helper. Mr. Ward taught me carpentry while I taught him patience. I was fearful of heights and perching atop rickety scaffolding while hammering trim into place was far from my comfort zone. Mr. Ward told someone later that I spent as much time holding on as I did hammering. While that approach didn’t work for carpentry, I could argue that it does have its place in the Christian life.
The children of Israel were poised to enter the Promised Land. Before they did, there was much that God wanted to tell them through His servant Moses. That communication is found in the book of Deuteronomy.
As I read in Deuteronomy recently, there was a verse that grabbed my attention. I think it serves as a good summary of God’s expectations for His children, not just the Israelites, but you and me too.
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 (Deuteronomy 13:4).
There’s so much packed into that one verse. (It’s a great verse to commit to memory.)
We’re commanded to walk after the Lord our God. You and I are told to simply follow Him.
There's a call for us to fear God. Reverence is due to this Holy One of Israel.
The true child of God listens to and obeys the voice of his Father.
The obedient believer humbly serves Him.
And lastly, we hold fast to Him. We don’t pull away in rebellion. We cling to the Lord.
The wise man or woman will spend a lifetime walking after, fearing, obeying, and serving this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 28:58).
So, we resolve to serve the Lord; we hammer away at all our Master leads us to do. All the while, we hold fast to our Father. We’ve learned that this is the one place to find rest for our souls.
You and I should be encouraged that the lost world takes note of believers who live in obedience to the commands of the Bible. By God’s grace, some are drawn to Him through our example.
As we live in obedience to our Father, our brothers and sisters in Christ are challenged in their spiritual journey. It prompts many to evaluate their own walk. Often God has used the obedience of another believer to inspire me and sometimes convict me.
And most importantly, when we obey our King’s commands, our God is pleased. Let that sink in. God takes pleasure in our obedience. What better accomplishment can we have today than to please our loving God?
There’s much to motivate us to move through this day in simple obedience to our God. And as we do, there are countless reasons to keep a tight grip on Him. Why would we choose to live any other way?
“We must fear the Lord our God. We must love Him, and delight in communion with Him. We must walk in the ways in which He has appointed us to walk. We must serve Him with all our heart and soul. What we do in His service we must do cheerfully, and with good will. We must keep His commandments. There is true honor and pleasure in obedience. We must give honor to God; and to Him we must cleave, as one we love and delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations” (Matthew Henry 1662-1714).