We have been considering the importance of CHARACTER. Here Josh Jones gives us some good insight. Building godly character may seem out of reach, but Josh shows us that it really is a simple path to follow. It is a lot easier than going to the nearest star.
Don’t Reach for the Stars Because You Don’t Have To
by Josh Jones
Have ever been told to reach for the stars? It’s a commonly heard phrase during graduations or when someone attempts a difficult or sometimes impossible task. Reaching for the stars communicates hope but there is no guarantee. Sometimes that’s how we look at living the Christian life. It’s reaching for the stars, or it’s impossible. It is something we hope for but don’t really expect to attain. It’s challenging to know what God wants and it’s even harder to do it. I’m glad for Deuteronomy 30. It’s in this passage where we find that knowing and doing God’s will in our lives, simply living for Him, is knowable and doable. It’s not like reaching for the stars.
A CHOICE: OBEY
Moses is 120 years old and coming to the end of His life. He is preparing to turn over the leadership of Israel to Joshua as they are about to enter the Promised Land. Moses constant reminder to the people is that God’s love is loyal but He also requires their obedience. God desires for a personal relationship with His people but we have to make a choice.
Some people say that you can learn, either by example or by experience. It seems the Israelites had to learn a lot by experience. Moses reminds the Israelites of their past and what will be their future experiences to teach them that God promises restoration to those who repent and obey His commands (vss.1-10). The Israelites were a rebellious and forgetful people who cycled through rebellion, judgment, repentance, and restoration again and again. God however was always loyal to those who repented and obeyed (vss. 9-10). We go through this cycle in our own lives. And yet God continues to be faithful to His people and His word. The key is found in having heart surgery performed by God (v. 6). The only way to love God with all our heart and all our soul is to first experience the perfect love of Christ through salvation. This transformation allows us to make a choice.
WHAT TO DO?
The Israelites in chapter 30 were confronted by Moses to make a choice. A decision had to be made to choose life or to choose death (vss. 15-16). One of the best excuses children and even adults make is to claim ignorance. You can’t be held responsible if you don’t know what you are supposed to do, right? Well according to God we can’t even use that excuse because as a loving Father His will is clearly set before us to know and to do (vss. 11-14). God’s command and will for us is ever before us. It’s in His word that we read and that we have hidden in our hearts. It’s right there before us. You not only can know it, but you can do it.
IT’S TIME TO CHOOSE
Moses ends the chapter by comparing the blessing of choosing life and the curse of choosing death. He closes with one final challenge to choose life. When we choose to love God, obey His commandments and make Him first then we have chosen life.