Yesterday, in my daily Bible reading, I was in the book of Deuteronomy.
Oh how God's scriptures keep informing IF us we open our hearts as we open His word.
In Numbers it finally hit me that a whole generation was unable to see the promised land. I have intellectually know this for many years: I am a seminary graduate after all! But in my heart, as God commanded Moses to count the people (hence the name book of "Numbers" in our English translations) a second time. God knew that over the 40 years and numerous incidents of disobedience and the sad repercussions who was there and wasn't.
BUT for our sake He had the people counted, so we would KNOW. GOD WILL HAVE HIS WAY!
So in the book of Deuteronomy God and Moses review the last 40 years with this new generation, who know only the desert, who don't recall Egypt.
"God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn't just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain" Deuteronomy 5: 2-4 MESSAGE.
Another AHA moment for me - The whole book of Deuteronomy for THIS GENERATION. RIGHT NOW! IT IS CRITICAL FOR ME, TODAY! FORGET THE 'practices' of yesterday. I am ready start NOW, TODAY!
So as chapter 5 progresses Moses states the commandments of God again, as they were given to Moses and God inscribed on the stone tablets that are in the Ark of Testimony with the congregation.
The verse I want to focus on, struck me as a prayer from God's heart if you will, for our hearts.
"Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever." Deuteronomy 5:29 NLT
God's desire is that we would have a heart for HIM, that we WOULD FEAR HIM, and OBEY HIS COMMANDS.
I think that on the coming Fridays we are going to do some heart checks. What does it mean to have a heart FULLY FOR GOD! TO FEAR GOD and HOW DO WE OBEY HIS COMMANDS - as we journey in a land far from Horeb/Sinai?
And God wants us to get this - for if we do as the verse states it will result in prosperity for us and our descendants. But as I read and reread this verse - God knows where we fall short! But yet this is HIS DESIRE that we try, that we love, that we make room for HIM.
Unfortunately I too, have more questions than answers, BUT I am learning about "practicing my practice" God desires that we try and He helps us as we do!
I am closing today's musing with the devotional written to go with the beautiful collage you are enjoying with the blog today. Both art above and thoughts below are from Gillian Ross from Grace Chapel in Lexington Massachusetts.
An Undivided Heart
Whatever our lives look like from the outside, God looks on our hearts. Herein is determined our purity - or lack of it! So the 'heart' (in the painting) represents our hearts - our mind, will, emotions - the very 'fabric' of our lives, in all its multi-layered, multi-textured compartments. It is this heart that God longs to make pure, clean, undivided. This happens first through the 'washing by the blood' of Christ, signified here by the deep red, washing through every area of life, and continues throughout our lives as Christians as we are sanctified. As we allow God into each area of our lives, the compartments become less distinct, and our hearts become more unified. The gold signifies the purification process, which is God's work… impurities are purged through the Refiner's fire. As our hearts are transformed like this we can draw closer to Him: One day we will see Him as he is, and we do see Him now at work in our lives. The natural result of 'seeing God' is to worship Him - hence the figure in white in a posture of praise to God.
"Teach me your ways O Lord,
And I will walk in your path.
Give me an undivided heart,
And I will fear your name.
I will praise you,
O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever."
Gillian Ross from Grace Chapel in Lexington Mass 10-26-07
Let THOSE VERSES BE OUR PRAYER as we learn and practice our heart songs of praise to HIM on the Hike 'O Life....amen